Asian markets firmer across the board, buoyed by positive retail sales data out of the US yesterday. In corporate news Softbank Corp rose over 9% after agreeing to buy 70% of Sprint Nextel Corp. Overnight the RBA released minutes following their rate cut, and stated that it may take time for recent cuts to take effect.

In Europe, we have UK PPI, Eurozone PPI and German ZEW data this morning. The Spanish government is prepared to make a rescue request that would allow the ECB to buy Spanish debt, but is delayed by the needs of other Eurozone members. European equity futures are looking around 60bps better, with the Euro trading higher at 1.299.

US markets closed near session highs yesterday, boosted by better than expected retail sales and strong earnings from Citigroup, today we have CPI data due and in corporates, Coca Cola (50 cents estimate), Goldman ($2.29), IBM ($3.61) and Intel (50c) are among the major names reporting.

Philip Ball | Sales and Trading