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Apple surges, copper slumps

The US reporting season remains a bright spot for global markets. However a number of indicators suggest all is not well with the outlook. Copper markets fell again after a brief pause, and shares in the Asia Pacific and Europe are falling in line with commodity concerns. A strengthening US dollar is hurting local sentiment in the short term.

Apple became the first company in history to top the US $1 trillion mark after a positive investor response to its quarterly result. This pushed the Nasdaq composite index up by more than 1%, and it is now within a day’s trading range of its all-time high. However the Dow Industrial index finished in the red as pressure on more traditional industrial stocks mounted. If the current investor mania for tech and growth moderates a correction may strike.

Base metals resumed their downward trajectory. Falling precious metals prices suggest the stronger US dollar bears some responsibility. A rally in oil prices may offset the negative industrial signals.

Futures markets are suggesting the positive momentum at the US close will spill into the Asia Pacific region today. The Caixin services PMI (f/c 53.5) in China and Australian retail sales numbers (f/c +0.3%) could shape trading in their respective centres. Traders are unlikely to get too carried away ahead of US non-farm payrolls tonight.

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