Asian markets are firmer for choice this morning as evidence showed that Chinese corporate earnings continue to improve. China's Shanghai composite is trading up over 2% at levels not seen since June of last year. Elsewhere, the Nikkei is slightly lower despite another day of Yen weakness, and exporters are again lower in South Korea following comments from Samsung on Friday on the impacts of a stronger Won.

European equity futures are slightly firmer this morning after markets closed at or near session highs on Friday. The Euro this morning is subdued just shy of the 1.35 level. Quiet on economic data, with Italian consumer confidence being only of significance. The ECB's Coene said the Eurozone would likely have to fall back into recession before the ECB would consider lowering interest rates further.

In the US, markets closed at session highs on Friday bolstered by better than expected corporate earnings, today Caterpillar ($1.71) and Yahoo (28c) are among names reporting. For economic data look out for durable goods orders, pending home sales and the Dallas Manufacturing index.

Philip Ball | Sales and Trading