Stronger American economic data is driving risk assets higher. US share indices attained new heights overnight after activity indicators showed accelerating expansion in March. A sliding greenback exemplified the positive sentiment, although crude oil markets tumbled as energy traders focussed on vaccine delays in Europe.
Asia Pacific markets are set for gains as China mainland markets and Australia return from holiday breaks – Hong Kong remains closed. The region is still challenged by the diverging outlook for major trading partner regions. Do local investors follow the stronger leads from the US, or the concerns rattling confidence in Europe?
Today’s read on the Caixin services and composite PMIs may change the course of trading today. Both are expected to indicate a modest expansion in March. Any surprises speak directly to current engagement with the US and Europe, and could set the tone for the trading week. European PMIs tomorrow night could also influence markets, ahead of the release of the minutes from the most recent FOMC meeting on Wednesday morning.
The Reserve Bank of Australia is widely expected to maintain cash rates at 0.1% at its meeting this afternoon. Current central bank messaging is focussed on re-assurance on growth and inflation risks, and the RBA is expected to sing along. Analysts will look for any views on the increasing heat in housing markets, and potential regulatory responses. The Australian dollar is nearer the low end of the recent trading range, and may receive a boost on any hints of RBA action.