Markets eyeing Chinese trade data today

<p>Asian stocks are expected to open flat this morning ahead of some important regional economic data coming out of China. Overnight, US markets were slightly […]</p>

Asian stocks are expected to open flat this morning ahead of some important regional economic data coming out of China. Overnight, US markets were slightly higher while the problems in Europe continue to drag stocks there.

Alcoa’s after hours result has unofficially commenced US corporate reporting season, which will see a whole list of large multinational companies reporting their financial health and performance over the next few weeks. This will be a key catalyst for market risk appetite in the US.

China’s trade data will be a key data set for stocks across the region. Market estimates are for exports to have grown by 13.5% year on year, a gauge which currency traders will also be closely watching.

The Australian dollar was trading lower this morning Asian time, last seen at 1.0235 against the US dollar. It remains strong against the Euro which managed to claw back some losses overnight but still looks vulnerable below 1.28 against the US dollar.

In commodities, gold continues to hold firm above US$1600/oz, last at around US$1611/oz, while copper fell slightly to US$3.41, still within the US$3.30-US$3.60 range.

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