Asian markets bounce at the start of the week

<p>Asian stocks started the week higher, contrary to negative offshore leads, with the MSCI Asia Pacific index up 0.4% at noon in Tokyo. The rise […]</p>

Asian stocks started the week higher, contrary to negative offshore leads, with the MSCI Asia Pacific index up 0.4% at noon in Tokyo.

The rise breaks a steady losing streak with the regional index down around 11% for the month.

Perhaps renewed optimism around the likely pro-Euro government formation expected in Greece next month might provide some support, together with Chinese PMI numbers out towards the end of this week.

Beaten down Japanese names like Nintendo were higher after trading at depressed levels in recent weeks.

The Australian dollar continued to bounce, last trading at 98.46 US cents. The Euro was steady at 125.85 against the dollar while the dollar yen remains virtually unchanged from its morning levels, last trading at 79.42.

In commodities, copper looks set to rise slightly towards US$3.48/lb while gold continues in its mid-year slumber, last trading at US$1576/oz.

In corporate news surrounding commodity markets, around 3500 coal miners began a week-long strike last Thursday that has halted production at six Bowen Basin mines run by BHP Billiton -Mitsubishi Alliance. BHP has not confirmed if it will move one step further and lock out striking workers as the industrial dispute continues.

In energy markets, oil futures gained as much as 1.1% after falling around 13% this month from very elevated levels. Crude for July delivery increased as much as 96 cents to US$91.82 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange and was at US$91.63 at noon in Singapore.

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