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Sentiment firms as oil soars

A positive international impulse is pushing Asia Pacific shares higher in morning trading. Stronger oil prices point to a solid global industrial outlook and a risk on mood as geo-political tensions ease is buoying markets. Steady bond and currency markets underpin increasing investor confidence.

Data releases this morning are also supportive. Inflation in China for both producers and consumers is in line with expectations, and Japanese bank lending slightly ahead of forecast. Energy stocks are leading markets. Tighter US inventories on top of mooted Iranian sanctions have pushed crude prices to three year highs and in most cases well above analysts’ expectations.

In Sydney AMP shareholders are venting their bloodlust at the company’s AGM despite a comprehensive “mea culpa” delivered by the interim chair. The share price continues to slide. In contrast the best performing stock in the Australia 200 is Pendal group. It manages funds under the BT brand, and along with other fund managers is attracting support as investors seek alternatives in the financial sector.

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