Light trading volumes in Asia due to Chinese New Year celebrations

<p>Chinese New Year celebrations will see the closure of many Asian markets today. The Chinese market will be closed throughout the week, Hong Kong and […]</p>

Chinese New Year celebrations will see the closure of many Asian markets today. The Chinese market will be closed throughout the week, Hong Kong and Singapore will only partially trade from mid week so volumes are expected to remain light.
Australian markets will trade normally with the exception of Thursday which marks the Australia Day holiday. All eyes will therefore be on Wednesday’s inflation report in Australia and Friday’s reading into US GDP – perhaps the most important data set for traders so far in 2012.
The Australian dollar has posted some solid gains in early morning market trading, last trading just shy of 1.05 against the US dollar. The Euro weakened slightly, last at 1.2885 against the US dollar. Commodities were slightly lower with copper down around 1.5% to US$3.74 after a solid run over the past month.
On Friday in the US, the S&P500 continued its winning streak with technology and energy companies up more than 2.7%. The overall increase on the S&P500 index was flat. The Dow Jones Industrial average was 0.8% higher, led by Bank of America.
Quarterly reporting season has so far been solid, with the exception of Google missing estimates on Thursday last week. Its shares slumped more than 6% in response to the earnings print.
Elsewhere, around 65% of the 50 or so S&P500 companies which have so far reported earnings have come in above expectations.

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