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A divided world

Once again overnight European and US investors diverged. European stocks fell despite a benign read on German inflation, while US stocks rose despite a slip on GDP. The absence of trade news appeared to lift sentiment, and the US dollar resumed its ascent. Oil markets were uncharacteristically quiet, with gold’s tumble below US $1250 taking the commodity spotlight.

The positive stock momentum spilled into Asia Pacific futures markets, indicating opening gains. June inflation data from Japan this morning surprised on the upside, and may limit enthusiasm in Tokyo as investors consider the implications for Bank of Japan policy. An overnight slump in metals prices could see the Australian share market slip over the session.

Stocks in focus today include Mirvac Group, BHP Billiton and National Australia Bank. Mirvac guided analyst to the top end of the range of earnings estimates, which may bring share price support. BHP’s Samarco update could provide PR benefits as the stock hovers near 4 year highs, and NAB shares may come under pressure after the bank accepted more stringent conditions under an enforceable undertaking agreed with regulator ASIC.

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