US investors put their money where their mouth is, starting the year with a confidence-boosting rally in cyclical stocks. Driven by the co-ordinated global growth theme and no doubt reinforced by tax cuts, last night saw solid gains in US cyclical sectors including consumer discretionary; materials and info tech.

This confidence should induce a firm start for the ASX 200, supported by good gains in the iron ore price. A better than expected read in China’s Caixin, manufacturing PMI will provide background support for a rally in mining stocks today.

While US indices got the year off to a good start, they fell short of a strong move into new high ground, leaving open the possibility of a range trading scenario developing for a while. It seems likely the ASX 200 will also remain below its recent high, leaving room for doubt about the direction of the next major move. Yesterday’s news of further weakness in the housing market is likely to be a headwind for the banks and the ASX 200.

Political unrest in Iran opens up yet another spot fire in the Middle East. As inventory levels in the global oil market tighten, supply risk is likely to become more of a factor in oil market pricing during 2018.