Asia Pacific shares are looking at further gains today after a strong finish to US trading on Friday night. Share investors ignored a bond sell off and a slump in base metals prices to push major indices toward fresh records. The positive momentum could see the Australia 200 index test the 7,000 level again, after a brief spell above the key mark last week.
However early indications from foreign exchange action this morning suggests a level of caution. Volumes are low and movement muted. This may be due to a packed market calendar this week, that includes China trade and GDP data, US consumer inflation reads and Australian jobs numbers.
The Reserve Bank of New Zealand meets on Wednesday. Analysts expect the board to hold steady, maintaining interest rates and current forecasts. Upward pressure on house prices remains an important issue, although the RBNZ signalled 3 weeks ago that they view fiscal rather than monetary policy as the appropriate tool in current circumstances. The New Zealand dollar is trading steadily this morning, although share prices have slipped modestly.
After an uncharacteristically quiet period, crypto currency markets have roared back to life this morning. CMC’s All Crypto Index is up more than 7%, and Stella Lumens is a major contributor with a better than 20% gain.
The US corporate reporting season for the first quarter is now underway. Financial stocks feature this week, kicking off with Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan and Wells Fargo tonight. Citibank, Blackrock and Bank of New York follow, although Delta Airlines report on Thursday may be the most closely watched.