Asian stocks book healthy gains; Australian dollar firmer against USD

<p>Asian stocks booked healthy gains for a third day on positive manufacturing data globally and corporate earnings coming in slightly above expectations in the Asian […]</p>

Asian stocks booked healthy gains for a third day on positive manufacturing data globally and corporate earnings coming in slightly above expectations in the Asian region.

News of Facebook’s plans to IPO is also seen as a sign that perhaps vendors of large businesses see confidence in the market. The MSCI Asia Pacific index was 1.2% higher in early afternoon Tokyo trading. S&P500 index futures were pointing to a modest gain tonight.

The Australian dollar firmed further above 1.07 US cents, last trading at 1.0718 while the Euro seems set to test 1.32 against the US dollar. The US dollar continues to decline against the yen, near prior intervention levels, last at 76.12.

In regional corporate news, Australian supermarket chain Coles booked solid comparable sales numbers against its major rival Woolworths, which report this week.

Hong Kong listed mining giant Glencore is reported to be close to an agreement to combine with Swiss miner Xstrata, adding mines across the world in some of the most attractive commodity classes. Glencore shares were 5% higher at noon in Hong Kong.

Australian listed Lynas announced it has successfully obtained a preliminary operating license of for Malaysian rare earths processing facility. Lynas shares finished up 19% on the Australian Securities Exchange.

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