Asia Pacific markets are looking at a careful start to trading ahead of a number of important data releases over the next twenty-four hours. Better than expected US housing activity provides a positive lead into China industrial profits, Australian construction numbers and US GDP and durable goods tonight.

Overnight leads were muted. Better growth prospects signalled by rising industrial metals and energy prices were contradicted by falling bond yields. The US dollar moved higher and the pound and Australian dollar noticeably weakened. Both European and US shares were flat to higher on significantly stronger volumes. The flurry of activity comes ahead of the US Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday.

US President Trump told reporters that trade negotiations are in the final stages and “going very well”. The remarks added to the positive market atmosphere, but the modest share market gains suggest investors would like to see a deal announced before pushing stocks to giddy heights.

Nikkei futures are slightly higher, and Hang Seng and Australia 200 futures are in the red by a similar magnitude. Caltex board members continue to examine a bid from Canadian group Couche Tard. The takeover is conditional on a unanimous recommendation from the board and FIRB approval, among other factors.

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