As is typical on days that the US is closed while everyone else is open, trading has been relatively quiet to start the week in Europe and North America. The one notable thing is that while days like this are often neutral to slightly positive, this time around sentiment has been neutral to slightly negative. Traders have been taking their lead from Asia Pacific markets which fell after China released GDP data that was essentially in line with expectations but industrial production and business sentiment indicators came in soft. This suggests that while China may have engineered a soft landing, it isn’t rebounding either. This action, along with some softness in crude oil prices today and the street has been recognizing that it may have to get used to a China that while still growing may grow at a slower pace in the future. In currencies today, gold and silver have been advancing moderately along with AUD, JPY and CAD. NOK has been the softest among majors today but overall action has been relatively listless without the Americans. Europe has been trading essentially flat with the Dax turning in the relatively weakest performance on the day so far supported by Moody’s upgrade of Ireland to Baa3 from Ba1, a return to investment grade in recognition of its bailout exit. Action picks up again in North America with earnings and guidance in focus as traders look to see if companies can justify the higher valuations and expectations placed on their stocks heading into a monetary tapering environment. Corporate News There are no major announcements today due to the US holiday. Economic News Significant economic announcements released yesterday afternoon and overnight include: China Q4 GDP 7.7% vs street 7.6% vs previous 7.8% China industrial production 9.7% vs street 9.8% vs previous 10.0% China retail sales 13.6% as expected China business climate index 119.5 vs previous 121.5 China entrepreneur conf 117.1 vs previous 119.5 UK rightmove house prices 6.3% vs previous 5.4% Italy industrial orders 3.0% vs street 1.5% NZ house prices (1.0%) vs previous 1.2% Japan industrial production 4.8% vs previous 5.0% Economic reports due later today include: There are no major announcements in North America later today. US is closed for Martin Luther King Day.