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Oil draw offsets trade, Fed nerves

Global markets were rattled overnight as head US negotiator Robert Lighthizer told a parliamentary committee there was still much required before a trade deal is struck with China. Federal Reserve Chairman Powell added to concerns with a promise to present a plan to shrink the Fed’s $4 trillion balance sheet, strengthening the US dollar and sending bond yields higher. However a massive 8.6 million barrel draw on crude oil reserves partially offset these developments in painting a stronger demand picture.

European shares slipped and American stocks reversed early gains as news broke. The strength in crude oil spread across industrial commodity markets, with lead and nickel notable gainers. The overall tone of trading was pro-growth, and precious metals edged lower alongside bond selling and pressure on the safe haven Yen.

Today marks the official end of the Australian company reporting season. Ramsay Healthcare and construction materials group Adelaide Brighton missed forecasts slightly, and may see selling pressure. However traders will turn their attention to Inghams and Galaxy resources, the second and third most short sold stocks on the ASX respectively.  Food group Inghams has beaten consensus, and Galaxy has shot the lights out with a 60% revenue increase leading to a 90% profit lift, as well as completing the sale of its Posco unit. Extreme volatility in both of these stocks is a likely outcome.

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