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Strong jobs lift markets

Strong US employment numbers and further gains for key commodities are pointing to a positive day in Asia Pacific share trading today. Reporting season continues to drive individual stocks but important China and US data could shape the week. A modest retracement of recent USD weakness may also provide a local boost.

Futures markets across the region indicate opening gains of around 0.5% following Friday night’s 209,000 new jobs in July in the US. This clear indication of ongoing expansion in the economy kept US indices near record highs. The optimism flowed into commodity markets, with copper, iron and crude oil all adding to recent rises. A weakening USD helped, but a slide in gold prices and the VIX index speak to higher investor comfort.

Despite a dearth of reports today there are a number of key companies reporting this week. They include financial heavyweight Commbank, offshore earner James Hardie, and the media group Seven. These results will not only inform shareholders but offer broader perspective on the health or otherwise of corporate Australia.

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