Before the open - 30/07

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Asian stocks were buoyed last night after the Chinese central bank gave the markets a liquidity shot for the first time since February and the dollar index recovered from a five week low.

Early losses in the Hang Seng and Shanghai Composite were quickly erased, while a weaker yen and a small (but less than expected) reduction in the contraction of household spending in Japan pushed the Nikkei up against poor industrial production figures. Unemployment in Japan fell to 3.9 per cent in June from 4.1 per cent the month before.

The FTSE is expected to start up today, despite a poor finish from the Dow yesterday.

Key events today:

10:00: The European Commission will publish its measure of European consumer confidence for July. Analysts expect a reading of -17.4, slightly better than the previous month’s figure of -18.8.

The European Commission will also release survey data measuring the business climate (-0.53 expected, -0.68 previous), economic sentiment (93.0 expected, 91.3 previous), services sentiment (-8.5 expected, -9.5 previous) and industrial confidence (-10.3 expected, -11.2 previous).

13:00: German consumer price inflation for July, as measured by the Statistiches Bundesamt Deutschland. Economists expect a1.8 per cent annual increase, flat on the month before, and a 0.3 per cent monthly increase, up from 0.1 per cent in June. The figures are expected to be the same when harmonised across EU countries.

15:00: US consumer confidence for July, released by the Conference Board. Analysts expect a reading of 81.5, up slightly from 81.4 the month before.