FOR JANUARY AT LEAST.. AUSTRALIAN BUSINESS CONFIDENCE INCREASED SLIGHTLY, DESPITE CONDITIONS REMAINING TOUGH.

THE NAB SURVEY FOR JANUARY SHOWS CONFIDENCE INCREASED AS FEARS ABOUT THE GLOBAL ECONOMY EASED.

BUSINESS CONDITIONS ALSO IMPROVED BUT REMAIN ON THE NEGATIVE SIDE OF THE SURVEY'S SCALE.

THE SURVEY POINTS TO RISING UNEMPLOYMENT WITH BUSINESSES NEGATIVELY RATING OVERALL CONDITIONS AND FACTORS FOR HIRING, EXPORTS AND FORWARD ORDERS.

NAB SENIOR ECONOMIST DAVID DE GARIS ... SAYS THE IMPROVEMENT, EVEN IF IT'S SLIGHT, IS WELCOME.

TAKING A LOOK AT THE MARKET NOW..

THE ALL ORDS BRIEFLY PASSED THE FIVE THOSUAND LEVEL FOR THE FRIST TIME SINCE APRIL 2011...

ITS CLOSED BELOW THAT LEVEL...UNCHANGED FROM THE PREVIOUS SESSION

WITH ANALYSTS SAYING THE MARKETS BEING HELD BACK BY CONCERNS OVER COMPANY EARNINGS AND DIVIDENDS OF MAJOR COMPANIES DUE THIS WEEK.

ACROSS THE REGION MANY MARKETS REMAIN CLOSED FOR THE CHINESE NEW YEAR HOLIDAY...

CHINA AND HONG KONG ARE CLOSED TODAY... THE NIKKEI IS MAKING STRONG GAINS THOUGH.

TAKING A LOOK AT COMMODITIES xxx

THE AUSTRALIAN DOLLAR IS BEING PUSHED DOWN TOWARDS 102 US CENTS...