Asian markets upbeat; Apple profits surge

<p>Asian markets resume trading; Aussie dollar still strong As Asian markets slowly resume trading after Chinese New Year celebrations, traders will be weighing up the […]</p>

Asian markets resume trading; Aussie dollar still strong

As Asian markets slowly resume trading after Chinese New Year celebrations, traders will be weighing up the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) dire forecast against an ever improving corporate reporting environment.

Overnight, the S&P500 was down only slightly, the Dow Jones Industrial average off by 0.3%.

While the IMF’s picture doesn’t necessarily paint the best outlook for global growth, it isn’t exactly a firm forecast either. The fact that growth forecasts have been revised down by so much in just a short period of time shows the problems with pinpoint forecasting.

Bullish traders could brush off the IMF and look at developments after market close in the US where the global brand Apple reported numbers that blew analyst forecasts away.

Apple, already with a market capitalisation of almost US$400bn, reported first quarter profit of $13.1bn compared with $6bn a year ago. The business has managed to double earnings in what many would describe as a problematic year in 2011.

Analysts’ forecasts were for earnings per share to have come in at $10.14 compared with the actual $13.87 a share achieved. Asian markets will no doubt take this as a positive when trading resumes this morning.

In commodities, copper remains comfortably above US$3.80/lb while gold holds above US$1667/oz.

In currencies, the Euro remains above 1.30 against the US dollar despite the failure of Greece to reach a deal with its creditors.

The Australian dollar last traded at 1.0485 against the US dollar ahead of a consumer price reading into the Australian economy due out today. No doubt an important data set for the Reserve Bank of Australia’s monthly meeting next month.

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