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Happy new year

Share markets across the Asia Pacific region are set for a positive start to the new financial year. A weakening USD is supporting both stock sentiment and industrial commodities. A resumption of local and regional data reads may see a cautious start to trading ahead of a busy week.

Index futures markets are pointing to modest opening gains in Shanghai, Hong Kong and Tokyo. The Australia 200 index is poised for further outperformance on the twin supports of improving investor sentiment and higher metals and energy prices. Oil, copper and iron ore added to recent gains in Friday night trading. Expectations that the release of building approvals data this morning will show a decline of around 1.3% in May could slow any investor enthusiasm for the Materials sector.

Shares in media group Fairfax will come under pressure at the opening after private equity group TPG walked away from a bid. The stock is set to open back at levels seen before the highly conditional bid was announced. It appears once again shareholders will be burnt by a management team allowing access and devoting resources to a due diligence process predicated on an uncommitted tyre-kicker.

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