US markets finished lower for the first time in six days yesterday evening as investors digested some rather disappointing economic reports which prompted some light profit taking into the close. This rather weak finish would have ordinarily prompted a flat open in Europe this morning but for events after the close which saw US futures jump sharply, as both Facebook and Apple posted numbers that beat expectations by quite some distance, in the process sending both companies’ shares sharply higher in post market trading. Apple also announced it was increasing its share buyback program to $90bn as well as announcing a 7 for 1 stock split from June 9th in the process bringing the cost of owning the company’s shares back into the reach of the smaller investor, in the process, helping to broaden out the shareholder base in the longer term. Concerns about a fall in revenues proved to be unfounded as they came in at $45.6bn, above the downgraded number of $44bn that prompted the sell-off seen at the end of January, but the company did nudge down its guidance outlook for the remainder of the year. Facebook shares also rose sharply after the company reported a rise in sales of 72% for the first three months of 2014, as mobile advertising continued to pay dividends, assuaging concerns that the company wouldn’t be able to generate significant revenues. The only question remains as to whether this type of growth, good as it is, merits a forward valuation of 50. As a result of this post US pop we can expect to see a positive open for European markets this morning despite yesterday’s negative finish, though we could find that it will take more than a couple of good tech reports to hang onto those gains. Today’s economic reports could go some way to aiding in that regard with the latest German IFO business survey for April bringing slightly weaker expectations, despite yesterday’s positive April PMI reports from the services and manufacturing sectors. Given the strength of those April flash reports we could well get a positive surprise here. Given the uncertainty in Ukraine and the slowdown in China it would not be a surprise to see German business become a little more cautious with a slightly weaker reading of 110.5 expected, down from 110.7 previously. In the UK the economy appears to be going from strength to strength with the Bank of England upgrading its growth forecast for Q1 to 1%, while CBI manufacturing confidence rose to a 40 year high. Later today we get to see how the latest CBI retail sales numbers for April are holding up, with the sales numbers expected to rise from 13 in March, to 17. These numbers have on occasion in the past correlated to the official retail sales numbers which are due out tomorrow for March. The CBI numbers for March were quite weak relative to February and there is a concern that a poor ONS number tomorrow could well signal that a Q1 growth number of anywhere near 1% may be slightly optimistic. EURUSD – the euro continues to find it difficult to rally with any conviction remaining well short of the recent highs at 1.3970, peaking at 1.3865 last week. As such we continue to look as if we could well start to drift lower, but for now we appear to be finding support at 1.3780. There is also long term trend line support from the lows last year coming in at 1.3745. A break below the April lows at 1.3675 could well see a move towards 1.3500. GBPUSD – continues to look well supported with the 1.6845 now acting as a temporary cap. The move higher continues to lack conviction, meaning that we continue to have some resistance here. As such this level continues to remain important with respect to further progress. We need a move above 1.6880 to put the pound above its November 2009 highs. While below here the risk of a pullback towards 1.6555 remains a possibility, on a break below 1.6670. EURGBP – the pressure remains on the downside with a cap currently around the 0.8300/10 level. While we have moved below the March lows at 0.8205, the follow through has been limited at best but we look on course for a move towards the lows this year at 0.8158. The resistance at the 200 day MA at 0.8390 remains a key obstacle to further gains. USDJPY – the US dollar continues find itself well supported but we need to see a move back through the 102.80 level to suggest a move back to the highs at the beginning of the month at 104.10. We have solid support at the 101.20 area and the March low. A move through 101.20 opens up the 200 day MA at 100.80, a break of which could well see a move towards 98.60. 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