Nikkei Leads Asian Equities Higher

Asian equity markets kicked off the week with modest gains following a positive U.S. lead last week.  Wall Street eked out slim gains on Friday after spending most of the session under water, with investors little moved by data showing consumer sentiment climbing in June from the previous month.

Trading will likely be cautious ahead of key Chinese data on Tuesday; both the government’s official purchasing manager’s index (PMI) for June and HSBC’s final PMI reading are released on the same day.

Tensions in Iraq remain in focus as government forces attempt to dislodge militant insurgents from the northern city of Tikrit on Sunday. The group known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) has renamed itself “Islamic State” and proclaimed its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghadi as “Caliph,” the head of the state.


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