Afternoon trading Jan 8

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    Thanks Oscar and morning crew. Been so long since I did one of these that I struggled to remember how. Here goes.

    Half-time round-up:

    Shares rallied for a fourth day to a decade high on the back of Wall Street gains and optimism over the global economic outlook.  

    The ASX 200 hit 6143, its highest point since January 2008, before paring its rise to nine points or less than 0.2% at 6132 at the session's mid-point. Heading the advance were telecoms +0.5%, health +0.4% and financials +0.2%. Tempering market gains were declines in gold stocks -0.5%, metals & mining -0.2% and consumer discretionary -0.4%.

    On Friday US stocks iced their best opening week to a year since 2006 by surging to fresh record closes despite mildly disappointing jobs figures. The Dow put on 221 points or 0.88%. The S&P 500 added 19 points or 0.7%. Dow futures were this morning up 77 points or 0.3%.

    "Yes, the [US employment] numbers were a bit disappointing, but not so much that they change Fed policy, for example," Randy Frederick, vice-president of trading and derivatives at Charles Schwab told CNBC. "December and January are also notorious months for being off the mark."

    In Asia, China's Shanghai Composite added 0.02%, Hong Kong's Hang Seng 0.15% and Japan's Nikkei 0.89%.

    Crude oil futures put on 24 cents or 0.39% this morning to US$61.68 a barrel. Gold futures edged down 30 cents or 0.02% to US$1,322 an ounce. The dollar was buying 78.63 US cents.

    Good to be back in the action. Looks very much like last week was the wrong one to take off. Ah well. Snagged an early couple of pips from BMT this morning, then squeezed a reluctant pip out of BDA. Couple of looseners to start the season. Hopefully the fours and sixes will start to come by the end of the week.
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