Good morning,

US futures are pointing marginally higher on Wednesday, on what is expected to be a fairly quiet session. They’re not getting much direction from Europe, where indices are treading water, which is something we also saw in Asia overnight.

It’s looking a little light on the economic data front, which may explain why we’re not seeing much movement in Europe so far, or US futures as we approach the open. The only notable release this morning has been the Gfk consumer confidence survey for Germany and even that didn’t really attract much attention. Given the slightly weaker than expected number, the 20 pip rally in EURUSD around the time of the release can probably just be attributed to normal trading early in the European session.

The number itself doesn’t change anything. Confidence is still clearly dented as a result of the crisis in eastern Ukraine, while the overall slowdown in the euro area is probably itself starting to weigh on consumer and business confidence. With this fact pretty much priced in, we couldn’t really have expected much from this number unless the decline seen was far more significant.

The US economic calendar isn’t looking much more exciting, with only a couple of pieces of data being released. Of these, the EIA crude oil stocks figure is probably the most notable as this always has the potential to impact crude prices. We’ve seen plenty of volatility in oil prices recently, with geopolitical events putting upward pressure on prices and falling global demand driving them in the other direction. The latter is winning the battle at this stage, despite the occasional spikes, and if we see further evidence today that demand is on the decline, we could see that continue.

Aside from this, we have MBA mortgage applications data. The problem with this is that the numbers tend to be very volatile and forecasts are less available. As a result, this tends to be one of those data releases that people listen out for but don’t really respond to.

Ahead of the open, the S&P is seen 1 points higher, the Dow 20 points higher and the Nasdaq 2 points higher.