It was a day of consolidation in the Asian region as traders took stock of the news flows from last week and now look forward to anything that could cause a break-out from the current trading ranges. A lot of attention will be on statements by Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke to the US Congress mid-week as investors look for further clarification of the Fed's exact stance towards another round of quantitative easing. The last round of statements were interpreted by the market to mean that we would probably need to see further deterioration before extra stimulus would occur so it will be interesting to see whether he reinforces this notion or hints that we may be closer than we think. There is little doubt however that he will claim to have an arsenal at his disposal and that he is not afraid to use it. Equity markets opened with a buzz in the morning before drifting lower as American Futures markets indicated they may give back some of Fridays gains. It was a day without much news at all and one in which volumes throughout the regions were around 15-20% lower than the average of the previous week, whilst the Japanese market was closed as the locals traditionally head to the beach to celebrate Marine Day . The Singapore market flirted with 3000 for the early part of the session and was trading at its highest level since early May before running out of puff and turning negative as the China and Hong Kong markets were sold off. Fraser and Neave is the biggest gainer on the day, up just over 1%, while Jardine Matheson and Jardine Strategic are the 2 biggest losers, down nearly 2% each. Gold was fairly stable over the day as it traded in a range between $1,585 - $1,590 and the US Dollar index was virtually unchanged and is sitting around 83.38 Overnight there will be a bit of data to keep us focussed as we firstly get the CPI reading for the Eurozone followed by Retail Sales figures for the U.S. and of course the resumption of American reporting season. Things were not as bad as expected from JP Morgan so it will be interesting to see what the other banks can deliver.

Disclaimer: CMC Markets is an execution-only service provider. The material (whether or not it states any opinions) is for general information purposes only, and does not take into account your personal circumstances or objectives. Nothing in this material is (or should be considered to be) financial, investment or other advice on which reliance should be placed. No opinion given in the material constitutes a recommendation by CMC Markets or the author that any particular investment, security, transaction or investment strategy is suitable for any specific person. The material has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research. Although we are not specifically prevented from dealing before providing this material, we do not seek to take advantage of the material prior to its dissemination.