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Shares surge

European shares surged and major US indices gapped to all-time highs overnight in an outbreak of Trump inspired exuberance. Investors appeared unruffled by a lack of policy detail, although manufacturing data from China and the US painted an encouraging backdrop of accelerating global growth.

The US president’s re-iteration of a commitment to a massive infrastructure spend and tax reform inspired gains, but some commentators cited the controlled tone of the speech as a key driver. The US rally is all the more remarkable as interest rate markets responded to Fed speak of a potential lift at the March meeting. The equity market enthusiasm stands in contrast to currency trading which is oddly becalmed.

Futures markets are pointing to 1% gains across the region at the opening. Monetary data from Japan is likely low impact, but the release of building approvals and trade data may shape Australian trading. Falling gold and oil prices may contain any rises. A feature of trading so far this week is elevated volumes, possibly due to institutional investors re-shaping their portfolios in the wake of the reporting season. If this dynamic continues today the Australia 200 index may march to its own beat.

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