STOCKS: European stock index futures pointed to a higher open tracking Asian shares which rose as much stronger-than-expected Chinese trade data magnified positive momentum from global markets overnight, strengthening signs of recovery in the world's second-largest economy. U.S. stocks rose, rebounding from two days of losses on Wednesday. (Reuters)
FOREX-Yen near 2-1/2-year low, Aussie up on strong China data
TOKYO, Jan 10 (Reuters) - The yen was on the defensive near a 2-1/2-year low on Thursday on expectations the Bank of Japan will take fresh measures to boost the economy, while the Australian dollar jumped after stronger-than-expected Chinese trade data.
"I just see a tremendous amount of pressure on the yen at the moment. If the previous low is broken, then the next target will be 90," said a trader at a Japanese bank.
COLUMN-Strong China commodity import growth rate may ease
--Clyde Russell is a Reuters market analyst. The views expressed are his own.--
LAUNCESTON, Australia, Jan 10 (Reuters) - China's imports of key commodities, except copper, were unambiguously strong in December, serving both to confirm the current economic rebound and raise questions about how long it will continue.
Iron ore was the stand out, with imports going above 70 million tonnes for the first time, jumping 7.8 percent from November and taking the 2012 gain to 8.4 percent over the prior year.
China exports pick up more than expected in December (Reuters)
China's export growth rebounded more strongly than expected in December from a three-month low, expanding at the fastest rate in seven months, although the outlook for 2013 remains cloudy with U.S. and European demand for Chinese goods still subdued.
ECB to hold fire as euro zone economy shows glimmers of hope (Reuters)
The European Central Bank is expected to keep interest rates at a record low of 0.75 percent on Thursday, refraining from a cut as the euro zone economy shows some signs of stabilising and inflation still tops its target.
ICO trims 2012/13 world coffee output to 144.1 mln bags (Reuters)
The International Coffee Organization has revised down its world 2012/13 coffee output forecast to 144.1 million 60-kg bags, its monthly report published on Wednesday showed.
U.S. fuel stocks rise sharply, crude up on imports jump-EIA (Reuters)
U.S. crude oil stocks rose in line with expectations last week and refined fuel stocks surged even as refineries cut utilization rates, according to weekly data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration on Wednesday.
OIL: Brent crude futures inched up towards $112 per barrel after trade numbers from China beat analysts' expectations, sparking hopes that recovery in the world's second-biggest oil consumer will drive fuel demand higher. (Reuters)
China copper imports down in Dec, up 14.1 pct in 2012 (Reuters)
China's copper imports fell 6.6 percent in December on the month due to weak demand from plants which reduced purchases of metal at the end of the year due to low cash flows, but inflows increased 14.1 percent in 2012 from 2011 thanks to strong term bookings.
BASE METAS: London copper crawled higher, boosted by Chinese trade data that showed exports recovered in December but expectations of lower copper imports due to ample stockpiles in the world's top metals consumer helped put a lid on prices. (Reuters)
PRECIOUS METALS: Gold was little changed, with investors eyeing a key resistance level just above $1,660 an ounce and awaiting a rate decision by the European Central Bank at its policy meeting later in the day. (Reuters)
METALS-Copper climbs after brightening China trade data
MELBOURNE, Jan 10 (Reuters) - London copper climbed boosted by Chinese trade data that showed total exports recovered in December, but the metal's advance was capped as copper imports dimmed due to ample stockpiles in the world's top metals consumer.
"The growth pickup in China is not really strong. GDP growth momentum on a yearly basis may rise 0.4 percent...from 7.6 to 8 percent and that is probably not sufficient to trigger a meaningful rally (in copper)," said Dominic Schnider, head of commodity research at UBS Wealth Management.
PRECIOUS-Gold steady below $1,660; platinum, palladium shine
SINGAPORE, Jan 10 (Reuters) - Gold edged up with investors eying a key resistance level just above $1,660 an ounce and awaiting a rate decision by the European Central Bank at its policy meeting later in the day.
"The market got a little concerned about how aggressive the Fed will be," said Jeremy Friesen, commodity strategist at Societe Generale in Hong Kong, adding that the market is expected to rebound.