GFT is quoting the FTSE 100 index to open up 10 points from Friday’s close, at a level of 5,780. The German DAX is also expected to start higher, up nine points at 6,258, and the French CAC is forecast to open up two points at 4,052.
Before the close on Friday, the Dow Jones index briefly breached the 11,000 points level for the first time in 18 months, and this may also give a lift to European markets. Today sees the start of the first quarter earnings period in the US, with Alcoa kicking things off after the closing bell on Wall Street tonight, and the overall direction this week will likely be dominated by the numbers from Google, Intel, General Electric and JP Morgan Chase. The consensus analyst view is that the vast majority of US companies reporting over the next few weeks will easily beat their results from a year ago. On the economic data front, traders will be looking to the US retail sales data out on Wednesday and consumer sentiment figures out on Friday to see if the signs of revived consumer demand can continue. Martin Slaney is director of global dealing operations at GFT.