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China, Japan numbers to set the course

After further warnings from Fed officials that the September meeting is “live” for a rate rise, local investors will turn to regional data to set direction today. Oil prices were a feature of overnight trade, in contrast to subdued trading on European and US exchanges.

A gap between market pricing and Fed rhetoric on the path of US interest rates is evident. The Beige Book data that informs FOMC decision making is pointing to tighter labour market conditions and gathering wage pressures. The lack of reaction in markets suggest Fed credibility is tattered after a number of “go, no, wait” calls this year.

China trade data due today could move commodity markets, and with them Australian shares. Expectations are for growth in exports and imports in Yuan terms, but falls in USD terms. A 1% jump in oil prices could see industrial commodities start the session on a positive note.

The forecast 0.2% annual growth in Japanese GDP released today could spark speculation of BoJ intervention, weakening the Yen and supporting the Nikkei. These key releases make predicting the path of markets toady a dicey affair.

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