While Friday’s better than expected US employment report gave equity markets a welcome leg higher at the end of last week to enable US markets to post a positive weekly finish, their first one in three weeks, Europe’s markets got no such boost, posting their third successive negative week, as economic data on the continent continued to remain weak, and the ECB seemingly content to remain on the side-lines. While the Friday payrolls report, along with last week’s weaker US data seems to have put paid to any prospect of Fed tapering before the September meeting, the residual effects of speculation about it are likely to linger for weeks and months ahead. As things stand Europe’s markets look set to take their early cues and open slightly lower on the back of weaker than expected Chinese economic data at the weekend, which is likely to reignite concerns about a much more pronounced slowdown in the previously robust Chinese economy. Inflation data on both CPI and on input prices came in lower than expected, and seems to suggest continued weak demand, while Chinese bank lending also came in under expectations. While retail sales in April came in as expected at 12.9%, industrial production also showed worrying weakness slipping back to 9.2% from 9.3% in March. It would appear that the better than expected Japanese economic data overnight has helped put a floor under Asian markets with the Nikkei rebounding from its recent lows but this data hasn’t really shown much impact on pre-open European market prices. As far as Europe is concerned the continued weakness in the French economy is likely to come back to the fore today with the release of the latest French manufacturing data for April which is expected to continue the gloomy tone with annualised figures expected to point to further weakness of -4% for industrial production. The French President may believe, as he said at the weekend that the euro crisis is over, but the stats surrounding the ailing French economy tell a different reality, and the continued divergence with the German economy can only serve to heighten tensions between the two biggest economies in Europe in the absence of any French action to act decisively to address the economic weakness in the economy. While Italian figures later in the morning are expected to show some improvement they are still expected to show a 3.6% contraction. The final iteration of Italian Q1 GDP is also expected to be confirmed at -0.5%. In company news all eyes will be on Apple today as the company unveils its latest vision for the next generation of its iPod and iPad products. The company will also use its Worldwide Developer Conference to show case the latest version of its operating system iOS7. It is also expected to unveil details about its iRadio streaming service. Fast food retailer McDonalds will also be announcing its latest sales numbers for May. CMC Markets is an execution only 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.