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Looking up

A lift in shares and industrial commodities on Friday night has Asia Pacific investors eyeing opening gains today. A rising US dollar will support the positive sentiment. However a full slate of global data releases this week and bond markets that refuse to reflect an improving growth outlook may undermine enthusiasm.

Futures market point to gains between 0.5% and 1.0% in Hong Kong and Tokyo. Retail sales and foreign investment data due in Japan this week may slow the buying. Further clouding the global outlook is the US national accounts data for November. In particular Friday night’s PCE data and it’s reflection of inflation could dominate.

Materials and energy stocks could lead regional markets after gains in oil, copper and iron ore. This should see the Australia 200 index in the green. Despite rapidly approaching holidays volumes should be strong ahead of the triple-witching expiry of futures, index options and share options.

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