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Markets look forward

A quiet start to Asia Pacific trading is expected ahead of forward indicators for key regions over the next 24 hours. Although European shares rose, sentiment soured late in US trading and futures markets are pointing to weaker opening levels this morning. Oil and copper rose ahead of the reads, and precious metals are still under pressure. Currency markets remain steady.

PMI reads for Japan, France, Germany and the US are imminent. The European activity indicators are expected to fall back slightly, in contrast to the US services index which is forecast to show further acceleration of expansion. UK headline inflation is forecast steady, with a modest easing at the core. Comments from Bank of England governor Mark Carney overnight that UK interest rates were likely to rise at a “gentle rate” sparked a short lived rally in sterling.

Energy markets are in focus as both Brent and West Texas crude oil hover near three year highs. Australian investors will watch opening prices for gas producer Santos closely today following the company’s last minute rejection of a takeover proposal last night. Major Asia Pacific futures markets point to modest opening falls.

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