We start the first full trading week of 2014 with Asia notably weaker. Overnight, fell 2.3 percent while China's was down 1.8 percent.
Tokyo at least had an excuse:it was its first day of trading for 2014, after a 9-day win streak to end the year, and the yen was stronger.
But for China, we are again seeing weak data: the HSBC/Markit PMI dropped to 50.9 percent in December, its lowest since August 2011. The "official" services PMI, released on Friday, also showed a slowdown. The manufacturing PMIs released last week were also below expectations, though all of them continue to come in above 50, which still indicates expansion.
Also not helping: new guidelines to .
The Shanghai Index is near the lowest levels since August.
In Europe, what's interesting is that so far in 2014 the most speculative countries…Greece, Portugal and Italy…are all up, while the larger, more stable countries like France and Germany, are all down.