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Better data and earnings lifts risk appetites

Tesla, man and machine

Lower than anticipated jobless numbers and stronger earnings reports lifted risk assets overnight. Shares bounced back, and commodity currencies reversed sharply to finish the US session higher. Base metals rose as gold and bonds slid.

US corporate reporting helped. 19 of the 24 S&P 500 companies delivered above estimates. Valero Energy and Dow Inc were stand outs. Apple beat sales, revenues and profit forecasts, yet the shares sank after management said sales in key products liked the Iphone were likely to slow down this quarter. Resmed and Caterpillar headline another big night tonight.

The US dollar edged lower as confidence grew. The Australian dollar traded down initially, then quickly regained a cent as sentiment turned. Cryptocurrencies lifted, seeming to gain from the chaos surrounding a short squeeze is GameStop. When providers suspended trading in the extremely volatile situation, some saw this as a reminder of the free movement in cryptos.

Futures indicate opening gains for shares across the Asia Pacific region today. Japanese inflation data is expected to show further price declines in January, potentially adding to selling pressure on the yen. The US will release personal consumption data tonight, and on Sunday China releases official PMI data.

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