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Through the windscreen

Asia Pacific share markets are facing mixed leads ahead of a data strewn week. European markets rose, and both industrial metals and energy prices are higher. However weaker than forecast US inflation and retail sales numbers saw the USD weaken and safe haven assets such as gold and bonds rally. Market responses to this ambiguous lead-in will provide a useful guide to local investor sentiment. A China trade policy announcement over the weekend may see investors looking forward rather than reacting to last week’s news.

A strengthening Yen is weighing on Nikkei futures, but most regional markets are looking at modestly higher opening levels. The announcement over the weekend by China’s President Xi Jinping of details of its expansionary trade policy could overwhelm any influences from Friday night trading. Focussed on developing and deepening global trade relations, the commitment of funds to specific trade platforms is a positive for the region and may lift investor sentiment.

Industrial production and retail sales numbers from China today are expected to show steady growth consistent with the previous months. Home lending numbers in Australia could shift thinking about the index leading banks. Australian investors may hold back ahead of wage and employment releases later in the week.

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