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Easing off highs

Markets around the globe suffered reversals overnight as share markets pulled back from highs. The USD resumed weakening. Despite a better currency environment, oil markets collapsed and copper fell. Investors piled back into bonds and gold as risk appetites fell with indices. Futures markets are pointing are pointing to opening losses in most markets, but data today may turn sentiment.

Australian investors are looking at a mixed day for resources. Gold and iron climbed, in contrast to oil and copper. Nervousness about a market index at 18 month highs could contribute to early selling. However yesterday’s focussed buying of Healthcare and Finance stocks suggest a bounce back is possible.

Retail sales for November are expected to show a 0.4% lift in November after a 0.5% lift previously, potentially putting consumer stocks in the spotlight. More importantly inflation data from China could set the regional tone. Consumer prices are anticipated to show a modest slowing in growth rates, but the PPI is forecast to accelerate from 3.3% to 4.6%. A read of this magnitude could reverse industrial commodity weakness, and add a fillip to any late session buying.

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