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Stock markets focus on results but Rio shareholders prove difficult to please

Following another day of subdued trading in US stock markets, the Australian market has opened on a firm note this morning.  However, the ASX 200 has staged a mini recovery after bargain hunters began to step in on Tuesday. With the index closing near its high yesterday, traders will be alert to the possibility that buying support will resume today.

While the reversal of the Trump trade continues to play out in other markets like bonds, gold and the Japanese Yen, a good profit reporting has allowed US equity markets to hold their own near recent highs

Bond yields are falling as markets reacting to the possibility that the growth and inflationary impact of any Trump stimulus initiatives are more a story for 2018 than 2017. In any event, there is room for doubt over how significant any stimulus will be.

However, current earnings prospects are supporting US equities. Stock markets are looking forward to a Goldilocks scenario supported by ongoing low interest rates if stimulus initiatives disappoint. Australian investors are hoping that the local reporting season will support a similar scenario for local stocks.

Rio Tinto’s management must be wondering what it needs to do to satisfy markets. It well and truly exceeded expectations with the size of its dividend and buy back scheme. However, the stock market reaction in London proved temporary, with Rio’s shares finishing lower after a strong start. This nervous reversal behaviour has carried into the Australian open with traders taking a buy the rumour sell the fact stance in early trade

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