Asian markets lower across the board with the exception of Japan, following US markets which closed sharply lower. Japanese stocks rose with the Nikkei up 1.9%, after the leader of the opposition called for unlimited easing to combat deflation. Despite the broad market strength Sony traded over 10% lower after issuing their first convertible bond issue in 10 years, and China's largest internet company Tencent traded 5% lower after missing earnings.

European markets look set to trade lower, for data we have GDP numbers from France, Germany, Italy and the Eurozone block, and UK retail sales data. In an annual credit review by Moody's, they said that the UK's rating will be reviewed early next year. European equity futures are looking around 70bps lower.

In the US, markets closed at levels not seen since June, with the ongoing fiscal cliff concerns causing concern for growth prospects. Obama is due to meet Republican and Democratic congressional leaders on talks to avoid tax hikes and spending cuts. US CPI data is due along with weekly jobless data and the Philly Fed.

Elsewhere, it is worth highlighting the escalating tension in the Middle East with Israel yesterday assassinating Hamas's top military commander during an aerial bombardment.

Philip Ball | Sales and Trading