Asian stocks swung between gains and losses overnight following data from the US which has showed a slowing US factory activity. Gold rebounded from the lowest price in more than four weeks following continued strain between Russia and Ukraine. World powers threatened to impose further sanctions to discourage Russia from invading other parts of Ukraine, boosting the demand for the haven.
European markets are signalling a higher open, rebounding some of yesterday’s losses following hopes of new stimulus measures from China which has helped support investor sentiment. With China data deteriorating, many believe the Chinese government could impose stimulus measures to boost sentiment. Although a positive sign for markets, this was easily brushed aside yesterday as unrest in Ukraine takes its turn.
The dollar remained under pressure, trading lower against major rivals on the back of disappointing US manufacturing activity. Analysts expect UK inflation data, released at 1030 GMT, to have fallen to a new four-year low amid hopes of an end to a squeeze on wages. Forecasted at 1.7%, down from 1.9% in February, could help consumer spending after their pay packages have lagged behind the cost of living. However, as an important figure for the Bank of England, George Osborne last week stated that they finally expect to return to real terms growth later this year. A worse than forecasted figure could hurt sentiment.