Higher than expected inflation in China, signs of growth in Japan, and retail sales in the US due out before the market opens; will lead to a lot of knee jerk reactions within the trading day. The emphasis on this data should lie in the background of what they mean to your overall strategy and how these numbers are devised. The changes in the CPI’s components make a case for greater scrutiny before taking the number as is. Today should be a day of analysis and not one of buying and selling based on these numbers alone.
With Japan’s recent GDP numbers coming out better than expected it is interesting what you find digging deeper into the numbers. It seems that the producers of automation equipment should be looked into as a potential buy in the country. I am still negative on the JPY, and would keep a short JPY position on of some sort to hedge the currency depreciation of any investment. I am looking further into the state of the Japanese economy and how it will handle its debt, currency, and population issues.
With the crisis in the Middle East adding a shock to the markets as of late, one should look for opportunities presented by these geopolitical factors. One interesting play could be major exporters in Japan, with the effects of the currency weighing on some of the companies, and the currency having little reason to be this strong for the long term. It would be good to hedge your holdings by shorting a long JPY fund or buying a short ETF for the currency. Another good bet could be countries with improving fundamentals with the potential of a rising currency, see select European companies.
I do not feel that the crisis will be limited to Egypt, nor will these protests throughout the region die off quickly. To this end it will be a volatile time for oil and perhaps a good opportunity to take any oil related position off the table after the recent run up.