Asian markets climbed this morning to 5 year highs on better US macro data and the view that major central banks will continue easing. Japan released a manufacturing PMI which showed the fastest expansion in over a year and Taiwan released quarterly growth data which came in below forecasts at just over 1.5%.

In Europe, futures are firmer this morning ahead of German and Eurozone unemployment and German consumer confidence. In corporate news, Unilever has said it will spend $5.4bn to increase its stake in Indian subsidiary Hindustan to around 75%.

US markets were firmer again yesterday with the S&P surpassing its previous record close, after monthly housing data came in better than expected, the Fed begin their 2 day policy meeting today, and also look out for consumer confidence data.

Philip Ball | Sales and Trading