While Hong Kong shares managed a slight rise today, that market for the week was down sharply. Apparently the markets saw the Chinese growth figures to be as expected and not much worse than expected and that seemed to provide European equity markets with a modest early lift. An item that might point to increased support for the Chinese economy, might have been seen in other data Chinese released overnight, which showed government fiscal spending in June jumping by nearly 18% over year ago levels. An Italian debt auction overnight of 3 Year debt instruments showed a yield decline from the June levels and that news also contributed to a slightly upbeat global vibe this morning. Part of the benefit from the reduced Italian debt yield results was countervailed by a Moody's warning of a potential downgrade of Italian debt ratings, if Italian access to debt markets becomes restricted. However, a surprise jump in UK Construction Output for May overnight seemed to provide the markets with just enough added optimism to shift the markets into a risk-on condition. On the other hand, US PPI figures are likely to contract this morning and the trade is also anticipating a minimal drop in the Michigan Consumer sentiment results. While there will be a Fed speech from Lockhart this afternoon, the markets aren't expecting to see any fresh revelations on Fed policy.

After a series of lower highs this week, October platinum has managed a quasi reversal with a modest bounce in prices. Like the rest of the metals complex, platinum appears to be drafting off an improvement in macro economic sentiment and perhaps platinum prices are also benefiting from technical short covering action in the wake of the compacted slide in prices at times on Thursday. While platinum hasn't paid that much attention recently to classic supply and demand developments, the market might be getting some support this morning from predictions from Gold Fields Mineral Services that South African platinum production will probably decline this year by roughly 6%. GFMS also predicted that the palladium market will actually see a deficit this year of roughly 900,000 ounces! Therefore the PGM have once again displayed a relatively tight supply and demand status, even in the face of a fairly weak global economy.