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Asian session close: market update

CMC Markets

Asian markets are in positive territory today to finish out what has been a very disappointing week and it wasn't good news that pushed the markets higher but rather a piece of news that was not worse than expected. After a week of data, company reports and news that came in worse than consensus the markets were feeling pretty pessimistic so Chinese GDP data in line with estimates was enough to see equity markets push up a little, even if it did in fact show that growth has slowed to a 3 year low. The Japanese equity market finished the session 4 points higher and both Hong Kong and Australia where around 0.3% higher at the bell while Singapore has been the strongest of the bunch, up around 0.7%. Singtel has been the biggest contributor to the rally as it is up nearly 3% today and is just below its 52week high reached during Wednesday's trade. Jardine Matheson, Jardine Strategic and Jardine Cycle & Carriage are all in negative territory today and have ensured that the Industrials and Consumer Services sectors lag behind the rest of the market. Ezra Holdings has swung from a strong gain to a loss when trade resumed after reporting a jump in quarterly earnings. Gold was little changed today as it traded around the $1,575.00 range and barring a large rally overnight will experience its second straight week of losses. In the short term USD has become more of a safe haven which has put pressure on the precious metal as talk of QE3 has gone to the back burner unless we see a massive deterioration in the state of play. US reporting season will be firmly in the spotlight for the next few weeks and tonight we will get to see the state of affairs at JP Morgan as we get an insight into whether the "London Whale" has caused a tidal wave or merely a little splash. Monday and Tuesday we get reports from some well known names including Coca-Cola, Citigroup, Mattel, Goldman Sachs, Johnson and Johnson, Intel and Yahoo! among others and by then we should have a good idea about how the rest of reporting season will play out.