European and US shares fell in overnight trading as investors reacted to a lack of detail on US stimulus plans. The USD continued its corrective decline, spurring gains for commodities. This mixed news may see Asia Pacific investors sidelined ahead of trade data from China today.
Futures markets indications of gains in Japan and Australia, and a fall in Hong Kong, reflect the multi-hued market action. The lift in Nikkei futures is particularly surprising given Yen strength, and may reverse during the session. In other strange moves, the US energy sector shed 0.5% despite a 1.5% jump in oil prices. Bemused traders described the unusual action as “holiday affected”.
The release of trade data from China today offers an ominous echo of last January’s rout. In 2016 weak China imports and exports sparked fears that drove major indices down by more than 10%. Thankfully for investors, expectations are muted, with a consensus estimate of a 3% lift in imports offsetting a 4% fall in exports. Any significant divergence will likely move markets.