Stronger US growth numbers short circuited investor nervousness and drove a turnaround in recent US dollar weakness. European stocks bounced back and US shares rose as confidence ebbed back. Commodity prices were generally weaker due to the strengthening dollar. Bonds and gold came under pressure but remain at elevated levels, and Asia Pacific futures markets are indicating a tepid but positive start to local share trading.
During Q2 US GDP grew at 3.0% and personal consumption at 3.3%. Both readings surprised on the up side, and may see inflation estimates and interest rate hike probabilities lifted in the coming days. The potential for earlier than anticipated Fed moves appeared to contain investor exuberance. The more positive outlook for the US economy bought the US dollar’s 2017 10% slide to an abrupt reversal.
Today marks the end of the official company reporting season in Australia. The muted future markets suggest results will prove a key driver of today’s trading. Both Webjet and Nextdc delivered underlying profit above analysts’ average estimates and should draw investor support. The feature report today is Harvey Norman. After a 28% drop in share price on fears of an Amazon armageddon investors may find the numbers more supportive than the sentiment.