Asian stocks look set for modest gains as US markets close higher

<p>Asian stocks are set for some modest gains today, not only because US markets were higher but also the fact that commodities were strong overnight, […]</p>

Asian stocks are set for some modest gains today, not only because US markets were higher but also the fact that commodities were strong overnight, copper in particular. That, combined with some favourable retail news out of Japan yesterday could help regional sentiment.

Overnight, the Dow Jones Industrial average finished 0.2% higher while the S&P500 booked a gain of 0.3%. Durable goods orders were below market expectations in the US but that was offset by higher than expected consumer sentiment.

So far, nothing to spoil the news that the economic recovery is gathering pace in the world’s largest economy.

Commodities saw large rallies on the back of higher consumer sentiment in the US. The price of gold last traded at US$1782/oz, silver continuing in its upward charge towards U$36.87/oz. The gold to silver ratio continues to move further down from 50x, last at 48.3x.

Copper also saw modest gains, trading up 0.8% to US$3.91/lb.

In currencies, the Australian dollar last traded at 1.0770 US cents with 1.08 in sight, perhaps triggered by better than expected Chinese manufacturing data out tomorrow.

The Euro is likewise firmer against the dollar, last trading at 1.3459 while the dollar’s gains against the Japanese Yen are consolidating near yesterday’s levels of 80.45.

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