Flash PMI data from around the world has been in focus overnight and has a particularly strong impact on currency trading. Results from Japan and particularly China showed a big improvement. Although neither country was able to cross the 50 line back into expansion territory, it appears that their recent slowdowns may be nearing an end and was enough to spark rallies in Asia Pacific indices overnight. Accelerating activity in these two big resource importers also ignited renewed interest in resource exporting currencies on rising demand expectations. CAD, NZD, AUD and NOK have been topping the league table today. NOK also has benefitted from a better than expected Norwegian employment report. CAD was leading the charge earlier this morning but the loonie has had its wings clipped by softer than expected Canadian retail sales. News from other emerging markets has also been encouraging with Turkey starting to cut interest rates once again after jamming them up a few months back to shore up confidence, and Brazil reporting better than expected employment data. With traders moving back into more aggressive stances on the global economy, defensive plays have been dropping back particularly USD and JPY. Gold has rallied against the weakening USD but remains stuck in neutral under $1,300. Crude oil has been steady following yesterday’s big gains. European indices have not been able to maintain upward market momentum and have dropped back slightly while EUR and GBP have been falling in pace with USD. European flash PMI numbers were mixed with the manufacturing side disappointing and the service side outperforming. Overall, this keeps the pressure on the ECB to do something to help the economy at its next meeting which is two weeks from today. US indices are trading pretty much flat today but could get more active later in the morning with a number of data announcements on the way led by US flash manufacturing PMI which could settle the score on which way May is heading. Traders may be particularly interested in seeing whether April was a one-off catch up month as weather improved or if momentum has continued deeper into the spring. Corporate News Royal Bank of Canada $1.47 vs street $1.44 NetApp $0.84 vs street $0.79, guides next Q $0.53-$0.58 vs street $0.62, raises dividend by10% Best Buy $0.33 vs street $0.19 Economic News Economic reports released overnight and this morning include: US jobless claims 326K vs street 310K vs previous 297K Canada retail sales (0.1%) vs street 0.3% Canada retail ex auto 0.1% vs street 0.3% Brazil unemployment rate 4.9% vs street 5.2% China HSBC flash manufacturing PMI 49.7 vs street 48.3 vs previous 48.1 Japan flash manufacturing PMI 49.9 vs previous 49.4 France flash manufacturing PMI 49.3 vs street 51.0 France flash service PMI 49.2 vs street 50.4 Germany flash manufacturing PMI 52.9 vs street 54.0 Germany flash service PMI 56.4 vs street 54.5 Eurozone flash manufacturing PMI 52.5 vs street 53.2 Eurozone flash service PMI 53.5 vs street 53.0 Norway unemployment rate 3.3% vs street 3.5% UK GDP revision 3.1% no change as expected UK public sector net borrowing £9.6B vs street £3.4B Turkey interest rate decision surprise 50 bps cut to 9.50% no change had been expected Economic reports due later today include: 9:45 am EDT US flash manufacturing PMI street 55.5 10:00 am EDT US existing home sales street 4.69M 10:00 am EDT US leading indicator street 0.4% 10:30 am EDT US natural gas street 104 BCF