Asian markets are higher again, with Hong Kong's Hang Seng looking set to close at 18 month highs. Japan released their quarterly GDP numbers which came in lower than expected with a contraction of 0.4%, reinforcing the argument for increased stimulus. Japanese brewer, Asahi Group, rose almost 8% after better results and a share buyback announcement. Elsewhere, South Korea kept their benchmark interest rate unchanged at 2.75%.

European equity futures are looking slightly lower after weaker  GDP data out from Germany and France. Rio Tinto, ABB, Clariant, Zurich, BNP, Shire, Nestle, Renault and Iberdrola are among European stocks to report earnings today. ECB's Nowotny says there is no need for central bank intervention, but may need to act should the situation change.

In the US markets were pretty flat yesterday after releasing retail sales data which came in worse than forecasts. Today look out for jobless claims, and numbers from Pepsi ($1.05) and GM (51c).

Philip Ball | Sales and Trading