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Given the general lack of direction in equity markets over the past week or so, I have spent a great deal of time looking at some longer term charts.

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A quiet day ahead in Europe with most of the countries having either markets closed or public holidays.

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Asian markets are lower this morning, with the Hang Seng the biggest loser down 1.1%, on continued concern that China’s slowing economy will dampen corporate profits. China Life Insurance Co. fell over 3% after the insurer posted a decline in premium income.

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US retail sales have just been released with a headline number of a rise of 0.8%, however it should be noted that last month’s figure was revised lower to a fall of 0.8% from 0.4%. US equity futures have extended their gains for the session to now up 40bps

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French and German GDP data has been released this morning, with the latter’s growth of 0.3% better than the expected 0.2%, later today we have UK and Spanish CPI, and German ZEW. European equity futures are indicating around 60bps better.

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Asian markets slightly better this morning but volumes remain light, minutes out of a Bank of Japan meeting show some members stating “stand ready to take appropriate actions without ruling any options out in advance”.

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Very quiet in terms of newsflow out of Europe this morning, ahead of key Eurozone GDP data due tomorrow. European equity futures are looking around 20bps. Key bond auctions for Italian, German and French.

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Asian markets marginally lower across the board, after data released out of Japan showed that GDP grew less than expected with quarter on quarter growth of 0.3% (0.6% consensus).

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French Industrial production due this morning with a forecast of a 0.1% rise. European equity futures are looking around 50bps lower. US futures are looking around 30bps lower

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Asian markets lower across the board this morning, after disappointing data out of China showed that export growth was close to zero, increasing the likelihood of more government stimulus.

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Asian markets have risen this morning for the fourth consecutive session, prompted by Chinese inflation data which showed easing and weaker than expected Industrial output, both of which may allow policymakers room for further easing.

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In Europe, Spain will not seek a bailout if there are new conditions, according to EU sources. S&P lowered its outlook on Greece to negative from stable, affirming their ‘CCC’ rating.

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Asian markets better this morning with the exception of Hong Kong. The Bank of Japan begin their 2 day policy meeting today, whilst the Bank of Korea are due to announce their repo rates tomorrow.

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European Equity futures are slightly lower this morning, ahead of reports on factory orders in Germany and Italian economic growth.

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Asian stocks are again higher this morning, rising to a three month high after Germany backed a ECB bond buying plan. Elsewhere in the region Australia kept interest rates unchanged, and the AUD traded at 4 month highs as a consequence.

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