Flat finish in the US may temper Asian markets today

<p>Asian stocks are set for a flat start when trading resumes this morning. US markets were also flat overnight, with the Dow Jones Industrial average […]</p>

Asian stocks are set for a flat start when trading resumes this morning. US markets were also flat overnight, with the Dow Jones Industrial average unchanged and the S&P500 up by only 0.1%. The Nasdaq was similarly flat.

In currencies, the Australian dollar rebounded against the US dollar, rising back above 1.07 to 1.0750 after the federal government address ongoing leadership issues. The initial response on the currency was slightly negative yesterday during the morning Asian trading session but it seems like government leaders have buried the unrest for now and a sense of stability will be restored for the time being.

The Euro fell back slightly to last trade at 1.3395 against the US dollar while the greenback remains above 80 against the Japanese Yen. A test might be possible in the next few days.

The Asian session might be somewhat negated by news the S&P has cut Greece’s long term sovereign credit rating again. The downgrade was triggered after Greece inserted retroactive collective action clauses in the documentation of certain government debt issued last week, according to the ratings agency.

Commodities were slightly lower. Gold fell to US$1767/oz while silver remained buoyant, last trading at US$35.37/oz. That sees the gold to silver ratio at 49.9x and possibly trending lower if silver can continue outperforming gold.

Copper was flat at US$3.86/lb – still a strong and solid price when taken in a historical context. Natural gas prices continue to fall in the US – a drag for Australian listed BHP Billiton given its recent acquisition foray into that market over the past few years.

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