The Australian equity market is pointed to a slightly higher start to the trading day after US stocks gained as investors took heart from stronger than expected economic data, but fell off session highs after the head of the International Monetary Fund stoked fears that Europe's sovereign-debt crisis is worsening.
The Dow rose 52 points to finish the session at 11868.81 while the S&P500 index gained five points to close at 1211.25.
The Philadelphia Fed's Business Outlook for December surprised sharply to the upside with a reading of 10.3 against expectations of a 4.
The dollar pared losses against the euro Thursday after reports that International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde said the organization would seek aid from countries outside the euro-zone to help with the region's debt crisis.
The Swiss Franc was the strongest major currency overnight after the central bank refrained from introducing additional measures to weaken the currency. EURCHF traded down from highs of 1.2396 to lows of 1.2224.
In a reasonably choppy session WTI Oil continued south after briefly trading into positive territory after better than expected economic data out of the US. WTI finished near its lows of 93.40 per barrel.
Spot Gold settled at a new five month low of 1570.38 unable to sustain a bounce in prices as traders eyed a still fragile euro and disappointment over the absence of a fiscal stimulus.
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