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Asia Pacific leads

Industrial commodities and European shares rose in overnight trading, following Asia Pacific markets higher. Commentators are pointing to trade optimism, but the gains merely extend recent global investor support for the region. The US dollar held ground despite the Presidents’ Day holiday, although ongoing support for gold indicates a background level of fear.

Copper, iron ore and steel gains point to improving industrial sentiment. Oil prices broke through recent highs to confirm a new uptrend, and commodity currencies and Materials stocks are a likely short term focus for traders. The tilt to growth is focussed on the more traditional industrial and consumer spaces, and tech is lagging.

Australian reporting today includes mining giant BHP, newly independent grocer Coles and medical appliance manufacturer Cochlear. Overall share market action over the last week was driven by company announcements, and trading today could follow the same pattern.

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