Asian stocks are expected to open mixed with negative leads from US markets on Friday but somewhat positive news coming out of Europe which suggests a deal between Greece and its creditors could be announced this week.
News coming out of the negotiation phase suggests creditors might be prepared to accept an average coupon on their loans of as low as 3.6% on newer 30 year notes. Even with losses in the order of 60-70%, the news could come as a positive to the market.
In currencies, the Euro remains strong, consolidating its recent gains and last trading at 1.3213 against the US dollar as Asian markets open.
Chinese traders will also return to the market this week after a week-long celebration period. The Australian dollar has also consolidated its recent gains, last at 1.0639 against the US dollar. The US dollar also lost ground to the Japanese Yen, falling back below 77.00 to last trade at 76.69.
In regional corporate news, US energy giant Exxon Mobil has agreed to sell an interest in its Japanese refining assets to Tonen General Skiyu for around US$3.9bn. The move comes as Exxon continues to divest assets across the Asia Pacific region to focus on more upstream energy operations.
Australian corporate news will be dominated by Woolworths’ second quarter sales numbers tomorrow. As the largest retailer in Australia, the numbers will be a good guide not just into Woolworths’ earnings potential but also the overall spending patterns of Australians, ahead of next week’s Australian Reserve Bank rate decision.