Asia Pacific markets are looking at a positive start to what may turn out to be a crucial week. Vaccine optimism is lifting all the growth boats at the moment, just at US medical services in some areas are reaching their capacity to treat the record number of Covid-19 infections. While traders and investors have so far “looked through” growing infection rates around the world, it is more difficult to predict how markets will react if medical facilities start turning patients away.
The positive leads from European and US stocks, as well as energy and base metals markets, were underpinned by data on Friday night. Both German factory orders and Italian retail sales surprised analysts with stronger than forecast reads, and although US non-farm payroll gains were slightly less than forecast the wages component surged. The numbers confirm the current economic recovery story that is fuelling market optimism.
The British pound is a notable early mover this morning. While overall US dollar weakness is expected to continue, sterling is sliding after news that fishing rights remain a major sticking point in Brexit negotiations.
A read on the Australian services sector this morning indicates stronger than expected expansion, and may help to further extend recent rises. China trade data is expected to show increases in November of 12% in exports and 7% in imports, and a trade balance in China’s favour of 370 billion yuan.