Positive US lead may boost Asian shares

<p>Asian stocks are expected to open higher today on positive offshore leads. The Dow Jones Industrial average finished 1.5% higher at its close, the S&P500 […]</p>

Asian stocks are expected to open higher today on positive offshore leads. The Dow Jones Industrial average finished 1.5% higher at its close, the S&P500 similarly 1.6% higher.

The wave of optimism around U.S. stocks as the presidential campaign ramps up will no doubt spill over into the Asian region.

The Australian dollar – a key barometer for regional risk appetite – looks strong at around 103.7 US cents where it last traded, well above the parity level it tested several times late last year.

In commodities, copper has managed to claw back its recent losses to last settle at US$3.52/lb. The US$3.30 support level seems to have held quiet convincingly and like the Australian dollar now looks to be set for a period of mild range trading.

Gold jumped back above US$106/oz on renewed Middle East tension, as did Brent Crude futures, last up around US$5 to US$112.38 per barrel.

In regional corporate news, Sinopec has agreed to pay around US$900m for an interest in five Devon Energy exploration projects in the US. Sinopec will also pick up around $1.6bn in future drilling costs which will go a long way in funding around 125 wells over the next year. The acquisition and cash injection highlights the importance of energy diversity and security as China and India put together long term industrialisation plans.

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