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Mixed data, calm trading, and an election

Stronger European manufacturing data offset weaker US inflation in a calm overnight trading session. Shares and bonds made modest gains as investors continue to enjoy goldilocks economic conditions. Stronger local currencies may see Asia Pacific markets buck the positive trend today.

Commodity markets failed to respond to better than expected UK and French industrial and manufacturing production data. Industrial metals dropped in LME trading, and the weakness spread to precious metals despite currency support.

The US Federal reserve released minutes from the most recent Open Market Committee meeting. A clear dovish tone and weaker than forecast core CPI numbers combined to soften the US dollar. The lift in Yuan, Yen, and the Australian, New Zealand and Singapore dollars may curtail any investor enthusiasm today. Futures markets are pointing to a mixed and muted start to regional stock trading.

The Australian Governor General this morning suspended Federal parliament and announced that a nationwide election will take place on May 18. The Labor party are strong favourites to form government. Proposed changes to the tax treatment of shares may see additional selling hit the market, particularly in higher fully-franked dividend paying stocks.

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