Industrial commodities eased and investors stepped away after a week of growth oriented activity. European shares held ground but mooted measures to restrict investment in tech stocks pushed US indices into the red. However bond markets slid further, suggesting the overnight weakness is a pause rather than a reversal.
Forex markets remain subdued. Remarkably, the US dollar floated higher for the third day in a row. However traders appear frozen in a White House spotlight. Accusations against other nations of currency manipulation combined with moves to restrict China investment in US technology leave markets vulnerable to announcement risk.
The Royal Commission into the financial industry claimed another scalp overnight. AMP CEO Craig Mellor stepped after revelations this week the company misled the regulator on multiple occasions. The recent weakness in banking share prices will likely continue today, and combined with a commodity down draft may see the Australia 200 index fall further than the futures market indication of 10 points.