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Steady start as investors gear up

Tesla, man and machine

Asia Pacific trading is off to a steady start this morning as Australian investors prepare for a busy week ahead. Leads from international markets are mixed. European shares rallied on Friday night, but US stocks were flat. Crude oil fell, but copper extended recent gains. Perhaps most importantly, bond markets continued their sell off ahead of the anticipated passage of President Biden’s $1.9 trillion dollar stimulus package this week.

This leaves local traders and investors with two potential areas of focus. Crypto markets are still roaring, with many coins trading at or near all-time highs. Volatility is at extremes. CMC’s All Crypto Index has doubled in the month of February. The other area of focus is the corporate reporting season. 

Seventy of Australia’s top companies will report to shareholders this week. Local tech leaders Wisetech and Appen will share the impact of Covid on their businesses. Outlook statements from important recovery stocks like Qantas, Sydney Airports and Flight Centre are a likely point of focus, and the red hot Buy Now Pay Later sector will have a chance to justify their stunning share price gains when Afterpay and Z1P Money unveil their earnings.

This morning, plumbing supplies group Reliance Worldwide and Costa Food Group have reported ahead of Bloomberg consensus forecasts, and could receive support in trading today. On the other hand, Bluescope Steel, NIB and Lend Lease have fallen short, and Bingo Waste Industries reported a smaller Covid impact than expected.

Inflation could come onto the market radar with readings in Hong Kong, Singapore and Japan this week. Later in the week investors will see New Zealand and Hong Kong trade, Hong Kong GDP and Australian wages data.

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