- The economic data calendar is close to non existent today. There is Michigan consumer sentiment from the US, and while it is always nice to confirm the hedonism of the US consumer (we see a small rise) it is unlikely to set investors' pulses racing.
- Japanese core machinery orders were strong on the month, but weak over the first quarter. The data is volatile, so care is needed in interpretation, but investment spending in the Japanese economy is pretty critical if the illusion of Abenomics is to have any solidity behind it.
- In a quiet day for data the risk is that politicians rush to fill the void. We heard from France's Hollande yesterday, suggesting no more tax increases. Der Spiegel in Germany is suggesting that the austerity may need to be relaxed to assist economic recovery.
- US Fed President Williams, normally regarded as a dove, has been reiterating comments to the effect that the Fed might consider tapering its asset purchases as soon as this summer. These are not new remarks, but are being reiterated after a week of slightly softer economic data in the US.
Listen to the audio version of this briefing.