In Asia, Japan picked up 0.3%. With China and Hong Kong closed for Lunar New Year, the Nikkei saw a modest advance on lower than normal volume. Semiconductors outperformed the benchmark with names such as Tokyo Electron and Advantest rising 1-2%. TDK was among the top gainers, advancing 11% after the company raised its profit forecast.
In Europe, the major bourses are echoing the tone seen from the US on Monday. These markets have managed to maintain a bid despite a sizeable miss from German Retail Sales. The December print fell 5.5%, well below the consensus of -1.4% and reversing the 0.8% reading in November. Financials are stronger with UBS leading the way. The Swiss lender is up 6% after after posting better than expected Q4 results. Banking peers such as Barclays, Commerzbank, ING and Lloyds are trading over 1% higher in sympathy.