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Asian markets crept cautiously higher to start the week in positive territory following last week’s record highs in the US. After a nine day losing streak, Chinese banks and drug makers led the gains as investors risk appetite improved. However, gains in China might be limited after it emerged Chinese banks continued to hoard cash to meet year-end regulatory requirements sending money-market rates climbing for a seventh day. 

Global sentiment was helped after it emerged the International Monetary Fund said it will raise its outlook for the US following increased evidence the country is recovering. The dollar continued to retreat away from a five year high against the yen amid speculation investors closed out profitable positions before year end and ahead of data on the Federal Reserve’s inflation gauge at 14:55. 

Gold continued to play with the physiological 1200 dollar mark as investors continued to trim bets before the year end following the Federal Reserve’s decision to trim stimulus.

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