The remarkable divergence between industrial commodities and stocks continued overnight. Copper hit its lowest price in a year at the same time that 19 out of 21 top 500 US companies reported better than expected quarterly results. The US dollar index made a new 12 month high then slumped as the US President broke with longstanding convention to criticise Fed rate hikes.

 Asia pacific investors face a conundrum today. European and US indices fell modestly overnight. However many local markets are already much more defensively lower than the UK, German and US indices that are near all-time highs. Futures indicate modest opening pressure but today’s performance is highly unpredictable given the conflicting economic and market currents.

The exception in the commodity market is oil. Despite the pressure on copper, aluminium, lead, tin and zinc energy markets remain buoyant. Energy stocks remain among the most volatile, and today’s trading could reflect oil’s overnight outperformance. A calmer trading session is likely given little data due today.