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Results run markets

A continuing focus on corporate earnings announcements may see another lower volume trading day in the Asia Pacific region. US markets were buoyed by a strong result from Apple announced after the previous close. Resource shares may face pressure after copper slid and Rio missed forecast profits.

While the usual monthly macro data continues to offer mixed messages corporate reports are painting a stronger picture. Three-quarters of S%P 500 companies have unveiled quarterly earnings that on aggregate show a lift of around 6% for sales and 11% for profits. This supports the record highs for US markets. Rio fell in London and New York after lifting profit by “only” 93%. Local investors may jump on any weakness after the company announced its largest interim dividend ever.

In Australia major reports due include Downer EDI and Seven Group Holdings. Suncorp has already released a report that shows a slightly disappointing 3.6% lift in profit. However ambitious targets and a strong general insurance result could bring buying support.

Today’s major economic release is the Caixin read on China services activity. Speculation that this week’s stronger Yuan fixings reflect a policy shift is likely unfounded given USD weakness, although it will continue to draw attention. 

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