No real direction in Asian markets this morning with the Nikkei rising 70bps after being closed yesterday, a good performance considering comments from the country's finance minister suggesting stimulus measures may not be as large as expected. Technology shares were the regions laggard sector, with notable highlights being Sharp 7% lower after concerns over sales of of iPhone 5 for which they suppy screens. The Yen has pulled back modestly trading just under  89.

In Europe, futures are looking around 20 bps lower in early trade, whilst the Euro is off session highs at around 1.335. Overnight S&P affirmed Netherlands, Finland and Luxembourg at AAA, kept the Netherlands outlook at Negative by revised the latter two from negative to stable. Today look out for CPI data out of the UK, Germany and Italy, GDP for Germany with consensus at 0.8% and PPI data for the UK as well.

US markets traded in a tight range last night, Apple's concerns on sales of the latest iPhone pushed the shareprice to an 11 month low, whilst Dell rose over 10% on news that the company are in talks with 2 private equity groups. Bernanke made comments last night saying that the long term debt sustainability needs to be considered with budgets brought under control, none of which moved the markets to any extent. Futures are marginally lower and later today we have Empire manufacturing, PPI and advanced retail sales.

Philip Ball | Sales and Trading