Markets traded steadily on Friday night after a pro-risk week. The Yuan maintained six month highs in an indication markets are looking at a more dovish Federal Reserve and a weaker Dollar. Interest rate and global trade concerns may take a back seat this week as attention turns to the parliamentary Brexit vote, and US companies start delivering quarterly earnings reports.
Share market indices made major gains over the week as investors re-emerged. Concerns remain but the significant market falls of last quarter put valuations at more attractive levels, and buying resumed as China / US trade worries eased. Futures are pointing to a mixed start for the region but both the Australian dollar and index are in positive territory, fuelled by the lower US dollar and a bounce in industrial metal prices. Melbourne Institute inflation data that includes consumer expectations may support the recent lift in consumer exposed sectors of the share market.
Forex traders are narrowing in on the Brexit vote due on Tuesday night. Although PM May’s bill is heading for almost certain defeat it is the subsequent potential for a new plan and possibly a new government that could drive action in the British pound and Euro. Sterling in now more than 4% up from recent lows as commentators back away from the gloomiest view of a no deal Brexit.
Citigroup delivers its fourth quarter earnings report before the New York open tonight. Financials are a focus for analysts given their sensitivity to broader economic effects. More modest expectations of 8% earnings growth across all companies could mean US indices are vulnerable to positive surprise.