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Crude back over $20, gold over $1,700

Crude back over $20, gold over $1,700

In another night of mixed market messages both crude oil and gold prices rose, despite a stronger US dollar. Weak manufacturing PMIs thumped European shares. However shocking US factory and durable goods orders appeared to have little impact as US stocks rallied late to finish in the green. Bonds sold off, but growth exposed commodity currencies also fell. Unsurprisingly Asia Pacific markets are looking at a mixed start as much of the region returns from holiday.

Hang Seng futures closed the night session with a 57point gain. The Australia 200 index is up 26, but the Straits Times Index is down 66. New Zealand building permits dropped 21.3% in April, but investors appear unfazed, pushing Kiwi shares up by more than 0.5% this morning.

The Reserve Bank of Australia releases the minutes from its most recent meeting, although analyst are expecting no change is stance. The pop in inflation to an annual rate of 2.2% is offset by the need to support a weak growth environment. Singapore releases retails sales data for March this afternoon. Analysts expect a 15% slump for the month, and a 48% decline year-on-year.

The lift in crude oil prices could inform regional trading. West Texas Intermediate continues to rebound, touching highs near $21.50 a barrel this morning. The energy component of the US SP500 index leapt 3.7% overnight, and regional investors may echo that move today.

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