however stocks retreated in Asia this morning, as investors are still risk averse and accordingly they are walking away from higher yielding assets.

The U.S. dollar and the Japanese Yen gains this morning against major currencies, as the Euro dropped against the U.S. dollar to the $1.33 levels and the pair seems to be heading towards the 1.3280 level which if breached will lead the pair back to the $1.31 levels.

Meanwhile the Japanese Yen managed to gain against the U.S. dollar, as the pair dropped below the 100 level and seems to be heading back towards the 98 levels, investors are still uncertain over the outlook for major economies and accordingly they are heading towards safety measures including gold, which managed to rise this morning approaching the $900 an ounce levels.

As for today’s fundamentals, the United States will be the only major economy releasing data today, as the producer price index for the month of March is expected to have been flat over the month following the prior rise of 0.1% reported back in February, while PPI is expected to have dropped by an annualized 2.2% following the prior drop of 1.3%.

On the other hand core PPI which excludes food and energy is expected to have risen by 0.1% in March following the prior reported rise of 0.2% back in February, while core PPI is expected to have risen by an annualized 4.0% inline with the prior reported rise.

Inflationary pressures are fading away, as the ongoing recession continues to weigh down on prices, especially as oil and raw material prices are still somehow low, meanwhile lower demand from consumers continues to push producers to lower their prices in a bid to lure bargain seeking consumers.

Moreover, the U.S. retail sales for the month of March will be released, retail sales are expected to have risen by 0.3% following the prior reported drop of 0.1% back in February, while retail sales that exclude autos are expected to have been flat in March following the prior rise of 0.7%.

Lower consumer spending amid tightened credit conditions, rising unemployment, falling stocks and declining home values are still weighing down on consumer spending and accordingly economic growth in the world’s largest economy, since spending accounts for nearly 2/3 of economic activity.

The outlook is still rather weak as conditions are yet to get worse especially as the unemployment rate continues to rise, the unemployment rate surged in March to 8.5 percent and is still expected to rise further over the upcoming months, where some expectations are now signaling a double figure unemployment rate by the end of this year!

Also business inventories for the month of February will be released, business inventories are expected to have dropped by 1.2% following the prior reported drop of 1.1% back in January.

Meanwhile important earnings are scheduled today, where Intel Corp. will be releasing its first quarter results, Intel is expected to report net income of $0.02 a share down from $0.25 a share reported a year earlier, while Johnson & Johnson is expected to reported net income for the first quarter of $1.22 a share down from $1.26 a share reported a year earlier.

Investors are keeping a close eye on stock markets, especially as companies will continue to release their results over the course of this month and accordingly we should expect high levels of fluctuations, yet we should pay close attention to the banking sector, as strong earnings from banks would indeed send the U.S. equity indices and accordingly global indices in yet another massive rally, however if banks are still hammered by the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, you might want to keep your money in safe and low yielding investments…