Gains for metals and energy, and a lift in European stocks should see Asia Pacific bourses add to recent gains. US markets slipped, but still maintained levels very close to all-time highs. China inflation data and Australian company reporting are likely influences on market direction today.

The Dalian September iron ore futures are trading above 500 yuan, hitting contract highs. Although copper fell modestly on Comex, LME base metals contracts all finished the overnight session higher. Steady gold and silver markets mean the miners may lead any rises today. Energy shares are set to continue their resurgence, after oil prices leapt around 2.5% in the fourth straight daily gain.

The most important factor in determining today’s market direction is the performance of finance shares. Banks were market leaders yesterday as US growth and Brexit fears abated, and a continuation of the support shown could see the broad market outpace the 11 point gain posted by index futures. Business and consumer confidence reads locally may have an impact, as could annual results from Cochlear, Transurban, REA Groups and carsales.com.au

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