Asian markets expected to open mildly higher as Europe works through debt crisis

<p>Those Asian markets that are trading today are expected to open mildly higher as Europe works through its debt crisis and US corporate reports come […]</p>

Those Asian markets that are trading today are expected to open mildly higher as Europe works through its debt crisis and US corporate reports come in line with expectations. The region is very closely watching Friday’s US GDP numbers which will indicate the momentum behind the world’s largest economy. Some markets are closed again today in Asia for Chinese New Year Celebrations. Overnight, both the S&P500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average were virtually flat.

The Euro managed to rise above 1.3010 against the US dollar while the Australian dollar booked an equally aggressive rise above 1.0515. Gold continues to consolidate recent gains, last above US$1675/oz. Copper posted modest gains, rising back above US$3.80/lb and now seems convincingly above the prior US$3.30-US$3.60/lb range it held late last year.

Australian corporate news will be dominated by quarterly production reports from second tier miners today. Newcrest Mining is exception, large not only in terms of statistical significance to the Australian market but also as a major global producer of gold. Its production levels were down 20% in the final quarter of last year, in line with recent forecasts, following heavy rains in Papua New Guinea and lower grades at its other production facilities.

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