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Trade disappointment to weigh on markets

Difficulty in resolving the complicated and far-reaching trade dispute between China and the US hit markets overnight. There remains no fixed date for an “all clear” signal as the White House pushed the potential for a signing ceremony between the two presidents out to mid-May at the earliest. The pause on optimism put pressure on resurgent oil prices, introduced caution to share trading and becalming currency markets.

A holiday in China today could see lighter than average trading in the remaining Asia Pacific centres. Impending reads on German industrial production and US non-farm payrolls, and the possible formal announcement of an Federal election in Australia, may give traders more cause to pause.

The Australian dollar remains at higher levels after last night’s budget reply from the leader of the opposition. Tax cuts for lower income earners are a policy centrepiece for both major parties, and are broadly supportive of share prices. Heavy pressure on oil, gas and coal shares may see a bounce in the energy sector today after anticipated announcements on renewable energy failed to materialise. These factors could see the Australia 200 index confound futures market indications of a modest opening fall.

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