Soft US markets overnight may dampen Asian shares

<p>Asian stocks are set for a soft open when trading resumes today. US markets were down overnight with the Dow Jones Industrial average down 0.2% […]</p>

Asian stocks are set for a soft open when trading resumes today. US markets were down overnight with the Dow Jones Industrial average down 0.2% and the S&P500 shedding a modest 0.3%.

The Nasdaq was lower by 0.5% as Dell – one of the world’s largest maker of computer technology – shed almost 6% after reporting numbers that missed market estimates. Dell’s miss was driven by lower sales as it struggles to compete with mobile technology.

Benefits from streamlining are also taking a little slower to realise. Today’s decline comes after solid gains in the stock over the past few months.

In commodities, gold rallied on strong volumes overnight, trading last at US$1775/oz. Silver was similarly stronger, rising above US$34/oz.

In currencies, the Australian dollar was soft after foreign minister Kevin Rudd announced his resignation late yesterday Sydney time. It’s unclear at this stage if the resignation will lead to Rudd challenging Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s position but more will be known over the next few days.

The Australian dollar last traded at 1.0630 against the US dollar. The Euro remains above 1.32 against the US dollar while the dollar has managed to finally rise above the 80 mark against the yen, last trading at 80.25.

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