Wall Street may have flat-lined during yesterday’s session, but index futures are once again showing optimism that gains can be picked up before the weekend break. Asian markets put in a solid session, fuelled in part by a timeline on progress over US-China trade talks. There’s still no guarantee that these can be concluded, but at least we’ve seen an indication that the wait will only be another three to four weeks. This has the potential to fuel risk appetite in the interim period, although clearly a quick reversal could ensure if the market doesn’t like the outcome.

Economic data from the US today includes Industrial Production for February and the preliminary Michigan Sentiment print for March. Although these readings are unlikely to have any direct impact on equities, it’s the story they tell in terms of quantitative tightening that could prove more compelling. A lacklustre consumer sentiment view will again pressure the Fed into suspending QT quickly, in turn giving stocks something worth cheering.

Ahead of the open we’re calling the DOW up 70 at 25780 and the S&P up 8 at 2816.

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