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Better days. Lower volumes, calmer markets and modest gains. It may not last, but this week Australian investors are relaxed and comfortable in a holiday shortened week. Overnight, small rises in shares and commodities pushed Asia Pacific futures markets slightly higher, suggesting a further lift at the open today ahead of data releases.

Better days. Lower volumes, calmer markets and modest gains. It may not last, but this week Australian investors are relaxed and comfortable in a holiday shortened week. Overnight, small rises in shares and commodities pushed Asia Pacific futures markets slightly higher, suggesting a further lift at the open today ahead of data releases.

Australia’s house price indices are released by the ABS today. The sustained rise in Sydney house prices has some investors nervous, and any signs of easing pressure in the last quarter of 2015 will be welcomed. The financial sector now makes up almost 50% of the share market’s value, so any data that punctures the idea that Australian property prices are about to crash could bring broad support to the ASX.

The global state of manufacturing looms as a shadow. The Japanese manufacturing PMI, due around mid-session, is expected to show improvement to an expansionary reading of 50.5. This kicks off the global round, with the US PMI released tonight, and the rest of the world following over the next week. The current buoyancy of industrial commodities copper and oil suggests markets are relaxed about the outlook.

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