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Trade versus earnings

Global markets are buffeted by conflicting currents. The bottom up view of the world from a corporate perspective is positive, led by US companies. However the increasing potential for trade disputes to slow the global economy is restraining investor enthusiasm. The balance in overnight trading fell on the right side of the line. Shares and oil rose, bonds markets marked time and the US dollar strengthened.

Futures markets are indicating a mixed start for Asia Pacific markets. The Nikkei, Hang Seng and Australia 200 indices are all modestly higher in overnight trading, possibly reflecting their lower respective currencies.

The RBA will announce its monthly interest rate decision this afternoon. While no change is expected, any changes to language ahead of Friday’s statement on monetary policy could have market impact. Australian consumer confidence and Japanese household spending data could impact retail and other consumer related stocks.

US reporting overnight continued the positive pattern of the season. Overall earnings growth of 25% is supporting US stock s at elevated levels. Australian corporates delivering results today include Transurban, Shopping Centres Australia and Lynas Group – please see the table below.

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