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An ugly start

Plunging industrial commodity prices point to a rough start to the trading week for Australian investors. Key global and local data due this week may stay some of the bearishness. However a still buoyant Australian dollar means that international support for the Australia 200 index is unlikely.

A mild risk off mood in Friday night trading turned ugly for oil and copper. Safe havens such as the Japanese yen and Swiss franc found support, but industrial metals were smoked. Copper, zinc, lead and tin tumbled by 3-5% despite a weakening US dollar. Major US shares made small gains but background noise around geo-political risks focussed on North Korea and concerns about the landing of hurricane Irma limited investor enthusiasm.

After a slow start the back end of the week is data heavy. Chinese retail sales and industrial production numbers feature as do US inflation and retail sales reads. Australian investors will look to Thursday’s jobs numbers which are forecast to show a tenth monthly increase in employment. The Australia 200 index looks likely to test the three month lows just above 5650 today.

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