Equities opened higher in European session as led by mining shares. Agreement on Australian mining tax temporarily overshadowed growth concerns. Gains in stock markets lent supports to commodities but trading will remain thin and choppy ahead US' employment report.

Stocks in Asia declined, taking the MSCI Asia Pacific Index to the deepest weekly drop since May. Slowdown in China remained the major issue. After both the government and HSBC's survey showed weaker-than-expected PMIs in June, Goldman Sachs revised down the country's 2010 growth forecasts to +10.1% from +11.4% and CPI forecasts to +2.4% from 3.5%, citing the government's measures to curb lending and rises in property prices as major reasons.

However, European bourses managed to shrug off weakness in Asian markets and edged higher, as led by rallies in mining stocks such as BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto.

Crude oil stabilizes after falling over the past 4 days, recording a -7.53% loss, on risk-aversion selling. Heating oil and gasoline also trade narrowly. Further downside is likely in coming weeks as investors may have turned bearish on the demand outlook after dismal data released in the US and China.

Natural gas was the best performer yesterday as it rallied, in the face of massive selloff in other commodities. The benchmark Nymex futures rallied +5.2% to 4.854 at close as the gas storage rose +60bcf to 2684 bcf in the week ended June 25. According to the US Energy Department, total natural gas consumption in the lower 48 States for the week ending June 30 rose by 1.6% over the preceding week, despite significant declines in daily consumption as a result of falling temperatures. The data helped push gas prices higher.

Gold price rebounds after briefly breaking below 1200 again. Currently trading at 1212, the yellow metal attracts buying interests as it recorded the deepest one-day fall in 5-months. As we have been emphasizing, uptrend in gold remains intact as worldwide economic environment is still uncertain.