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Raining numbers

Asia Pacific investors are facing a subdued start to trading ahead of a week packed with news and reports. Inflation, growth and consumer data releases around the globe will speak to market prospects, and China / US trade talks resume in Beijing this week. The Australian company reporting season get into full stride, with 45 of the top 200 companies announcing results for the half or full year.

A softer growth outlook remains the key issue for markets. Stocks in Europe and the UK edged lower on Friday night, and bond yields fell as investors braced themselves. The US dollar is holding higher ground, and commodity currencies are under pressure despite rising oil and iron ore markets. Perhaps most worrying is ongoing support for gold, despite little evidence of rising inflation. The UK, US and China will release price data this week, and any surprises will likely have a strong impact. GDP reads on Japan and Germany may also influence market action.

In releases this morning property group GPT and retailer JB HiFi delivered above expectations, while packaging group Amcor missed the mark. With overall projections of 5% profit growth across the top companies more good results are required to justify last week’s raging rally in the Australia 200 index.

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