Global equities firmer, commodities softer, ASX futures up 23 points

US stocks closed near their highs after initially selling off following Monday's public holiday. All three major US indices remain either at or near their all-time highs, as illustrated on today's first chart that shows the cash index CFDs of the S&P 500 (orange), Dow Jones Industrial Average (black) and NASDAQ (blue). I've used a one-week chart that takes us back to pre-GFC levels to show the incredibly consistent and broad trend that these three indices remain in. 

The biggest movers last night were precious metals. Today's second chart shows the declines in US dollar spot gold (XAUUSD), silver (XAGUSD) and platinum (XPTUSD) since their strongest point this year in January. The UK last night announced a softer-than-expected CPI release and along with continued inaction in Europe with regard to progress talks in Greece, investors may be betting that the continuing downside in inflation figures will push the merits of a fundamental long gold or silver trade further out into the future. Gold fell 1.78% and silver fell 4.34% last night.

Commodities in general had a rough night unfortunately - copper was 1% lower and iron ore was 3.46% lower. Oil prices were steady and commodity currencies held up pretty well. Fortescue Metals Group (FMG) reported earnings yesterday, which were more or less in line with expectations, maybe a little better than expected. The 3c fully-franked dividend announced was good (all things considered), however we get the sense that FMG is playing up to a yield-hungry shareholder list by issuing this - it may have been more sensible to retain those earnings or put them towards paying off debt. Today's last chart shows FMG attempting to move higher from recent lows.

Today‚Äôs charts are taken from the Rivkin Trader platform. 30,000 global instruments available to trade including FX, commodities, index, ETFs and international shares. Trade Australian share CFDs from just $8 or 0.10%. Click here or phone 1300 748 546 to get your free $100,000 demo account.

Upcoming economic announcements: Bank of Japan will release its monetary policy statement at 2pm, UK jobless claims out 8:30pm, and all eyes will be glued to the US Fed's minutes at 6am tomorrow morning, all Sydney time.

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