Hong Kong equity markets were sharply lower overnight and fell to the lowest levels in a month, but the mainland Chinese market managed a modest rise on the most active volume in more than a month. European equity markets were also weaker to start as investors there were disappointed with the lack of easing prospects from the US Fed on Wednesday afternoon. In fact, many global equity markets were weaker overnight off the idea that the US Fed would need to see even more weakness before taking action. In short, the world is mostly anticipating further slowing evidence ahead and that might assist the trade in discounting a minor decline in US claims data later this morning. In fact, with an expected decline in US Import prices to be released today, it is possible that minor improvement in the claims data will be mostly countervailed. There will also be a Fed Budget statement later in the session but the trade isn't expecting much of a surprise.

Not to be left out, platinum prices have also carved out a fresh downside breakout on the charts overnight. With a broad based deflationary environment facing most markets, weaker equities and little hope of positive data, the bear camp in platinum has to feel pretty confident in their opinion this morning. Perhaps platinum will see some temporary support from a slight decline in US initial claims, but that news is hardly of the caliber to shift global sentiment back into a positive track. In another sign of slowing demand and waning interest in platinum, the US posted declines in both platinum imports and platinum exports for the month of May. Given the broad based deterioration in global macro economic sentiment, one could suggest that October platinum is capable of a return to the last two months lows down at $1,385.