Asian markets may open mixed despite G8 call for growth, not austerity

<p>Asian stocks were mostly higher today as confidence around a response from China to stimulate growth starts to flow over into improved sentiment around equities. […]</p>

Asian stocks were mostly higher today as confidence around a response from China to stimulate growth starts to flow over into improved sentiment around equities.

The MSCI Asia Pacific index was 1.2% higher in early afternoon Tokyo trading. Australia’s ASX200 index was heading for a finish with gains of around 1.1% as mining companies and banks recovered ground lost last week.

In regional economic news, Japan’s foreign investments grew by 3.3% to $7.3 trillion last year according to the Finance Ministry in Tokyo today, with investors taking advantage of the strong currency position.

News out of European officials remains one of solidarity, with German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble saying leaders will do everything necessary to keep Greece in the economic zone.

The Euro was last trading at 127.92 against the US dollar, slightly below its intra-day high while the dollar yen remained below 80, last at 79.47.

The Australian dollar firmed back above 99 US cents to last settle at 99.24.

Copper looks resilient, pointing to another gain tonight, last settling at around US$3.52/lb which is not a bad price at all. It seems, for the time being, the US$3.30/lb major test level is safe for now.

Gold, which rallied yesterday, has failed to break through the US$1600/oz barrier in Asian trading and it’s unclear if it will attempt those levels overnight.

In regional corporate news, Qantas announced a split between its international and domestic operations. Under the plan, each business unit will operate with its own set of management and accountable for its own profits.

Elsewhere, Asia’s largest international air carrier – Cathay Pacific Airwards – is seeking unspecified damages from World Fuel’s Singapore unit for supplying tainted fuel to two of its aircraft, according to the lawsuit filed in Singapore’s High Court. Cathay Pacific shares were last trading around 0.2% higher.

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