Retail sales in the US may bring positive effect on Asian markets

<p>Asian stocks are set to open modestly higher today despite ongoing doubts in Europe. In the US, markets were higher after the Commerce Department reported […]</p>

Asian stocks are set to open modestly higher today despite ongoing doubts in Europe.

In the US, markets were higher after the Commerce Department reported a 0.5% rise in retail sales, a better than expected print and perhaps a sign that consumers are finally starting to feel there is light at the end of the tunnel. This was backed up by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s general economic indicator which also showed growth for the first time since May this year

In Asia, the focus is on individual companies following the impact of recent European debt issues. Each business is different but many are feeling the pressure.

In India, billionaire chairman of Kingfisher Airlines dismissed speculation the airline carrier is close to collapse as it cut certain flight routes and struggles to find new loans. The airline has also asked the government for assistance recently.

In Australia, emerging gold producer Silver Lake Resources announced a $70m share placement at a 6% premium to the 20 day moving average of its shares, following strong interest from institutions in Australia, Europe and the U.S. to gain more gold exposure.

The sector is ripe for consolidation in 2012 as the market seeks more mid-tier exposures given the current gold price and associated production margins.

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