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Evidence imminent

Growth exposed markets bounced in overnight trading after a torrid start to the trading week. European and US shares rose and oil and industrial metals regained some lost ground. Commentators cited a shift in “tone” from president Trump, but bears detected an air of unreality. Important data due today and tonight will shed light on any economic impact of the deteriorating trade dispute between China and the US.

China industrial production is expected to show 6.5% growth in April. The numbers drop alongside retail sales numbers (f/c 8.6%) mid-session today. These stronger growth numbers contrast with US readings tonight, where analysts are looking for a flat read on industrial production and a modest 0.3% lift in retail sales. The weaker growth prospects and indebted national balance sheet may explain why investors expect a deal. It appears the US can’t afford a protracted trade dispute with China.

In Australia wages growth numbers due today speak directly to Reserve Bank of Australia intentions. Consensus is for first quarter growth at an annualised rate of 2.3%. A weaker read will increase the volume of calls for a rate cut, a stronger read may set investors back on their heels. The Federal election this weekend may also dampen market action.

Currency markets are steady, and demand for safe havens ebbed somewhat last night. Gold is back below US $1,300 an ounce. Asia Pacific equity markets are looking at modest opening gains. Dulux shares may come under pressure after reporting a 13% drop in first half profit.

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