Before the open - 13/08

The Nikkei rose nearly two per cent last night as exporters benefited from a weaker yen and business confidence was buoyed by a media report.

The Nikkei newspaper cited government sources saying the government is considering a corporate tax cut to offset the planned increase in the sales tax, which drove confidence, although it’s still unclear how much the rate could be cut by.

The Bank of Japan thinks the economy is on the path to moderate recovery thanks to domestic demand and a recovery in other global economies, although there is concern about slow recovery in the US and a weak Eurozone, according to the monetary policy committee meeting minutes from July released last night.

The Shanghai Composite, meanwhile, remained more or less flat on its near two-month high following yesterday’s rally on the prospect state stimulus to support growth.

The FTSE is expected to open slightly up this morning.

Lots of macroeconomic data today to make up for yesterday’s distinct scarcity.

Key events today:

Spanish consumer price index for July at 08:00. Expected to fall from 2.1 per cent to 1.8 per cent year-on-year and from 0.1 per cent to -0.5 per cent month-on-month.

UK consumer price index for July at 09:30. Expected to fall from 2.9 per cent to 2.8 per cent year-on-year and to increase from -0.2 per cent to 0.0 per cent month-on-month.

UK producer price index (PPI) for July at 09:30. Output PPI (price of goods produced) is expected to increase from 2.0 per cent to 2.1 per cent year-on-year. Input PPI (inflation experienced by manufacturers) is expected to increase from 4.2 per cent to 5.5 per cent.

UK retail price index for July at 09:30. Expected to fall from 3.3 per cent to 3.1 per cent year-on-year, and increase from -0.1 per cent to 0.0 per cent month-on-month.

Eurozone ZEW survey for July at 10:00. Economic sentiment index expected to increase from 32.8 to 37.4.

German ZEW survey for August at 10:00. Economic sentiment index expected to increase from 36.3 to 40.0. Current situation index expected to increase from 10.6 to 12.0.

Eurozone industrial production for June at 10:00. Expected to increase from -1.3 per cent to 0.2 per cent year-on-year and from -0.3 per cent to 0.8 per cent month-on-month.

US retail sales for July at 13:30. Expected to fall from 0.4 per cent to 0.3 per cent. Excluding automobiles, sales expected to rise from 0.0 per cent to 0.4 per cent.

US business inventories for June at 15:00. Expected to increase from 0.1 per cent to 0.2 per cent.