ECB lifts markets

THIS week started with plenty of economic gloom but markets have surged overnight on the back of an ambitious quantitative easing plan by the European Central Bank.

In the latest move to tackle the European sovereign debt crisis, ECB president Mario Draghi pledged to buy "unlimited amounts" of government bonds from the region's struggling countries.

European stocks have consequently rallied while borrowing costs for Italy and Spain have dived. Various US stocks also hit multi-year highs.

While the ECB plan has been heralded as "exceptional" and "concrete", if it is not carefully managed it could usher in risky levels of inflation at some stage by overclocking money supply.

As these measures are recent they are yet to have any substantial impacts on the key PNG commodities which we track on a weekly basis.

Singapore Tapis crude closed at $US119.44 a barrel overnight - a fall of 1.7% since last Friday.

Spot gold is flat for the overall week and trading at around $1690.57 an ounce today.

London Metal Exchange cash copper closed at $7693 a tonne overnight which is up 1.1% since last Friday.

By the same comparison LME spot nickel is up 0.7% to $16,001.75/t overnight.

There is also a mixed performance from the stocks on our watchlists.

St Barbara Corporation showed standout gains as it nears completion of its Allied Gold takeover.

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