The stock market looks set for a weak open as the rout in iron ore prices continues and traders wait to see whether Telstra will be under the pump again today. Weakness in other base metals and the oil price is also likely to add to nervousness about the near term outlook for mining stocks.
The surprise UK election has added to market nerves and volatility as traders assess the potential for increased geopolitical risk on several fronts. The outcome of the UK election now adds an element of short term uncertainty about how the Brexit negotiations will unfold while the big rally in the British Pound has increased volatility and had a knock on impact on the UK stock market. This comes as traders are preparing for the results of the first round of voting in the French Presidential election on Sunday.
While the US stock market often leads sentiment for our market, this is not the case at the moment. Its early days for the US profit reporting season but it’s a case of so far so good at this stage. A clear majority of big companies to report so far have recorded positive earnings surprises. The US market is also being supported by lower bond yields and a weaker Dollar. This has seen the US market hold relatively firm in the face of increased geo political risk while other international stock markets have had a more negative response.
To the extent that the scrapping of 457 visas reduces immigration and populating growth, it may prove a negative for GDP growth and markets. Population growth has been the major contributor to economic growth over the past 15 years with a decline in GDP per capita. The latest ABS survey shows that immigration accounted for 55% of population growth in the year to September 2016.