The stock market has plenty to be positive about this morning. US markets are back into the swing of nudging higher, metals had a good session and ANZ shareholders are contemplating the possibility of a capital return after sale of their life insurance business.

Chinese data has been a source of support for both the ASX 200 and the Aussie Dollar in recent days. Friday’s news of strong export growth was followed yesterday by an unexpectedly strong rebound in Aggregate Financing and New Loans. Financing in recent months has been above last year’s levels, supporting recent economic activity but at the same time underscoring the dimensions of the task faced by authorities to control debt levels next year.

The question for traders this morning will be whether this positive news will be enough to unleash the animal spirits needed to kick start a year-end rally for ASX 200. There is a lot of news to be digested over coming days including what the Fed has to say about the inflation outlook; local jobs data and the remainder of China’s November statistics. Caution ahead of this data and the need to fund Transurban’s large capital raising may keep the market’s animal spirits in check at this stage.