Following a volatile few days, the Australian stock market looks likely to end the week with a session of consolidation and profit taking as the ASX 200 has returned to resistance levels.

Traders are again likely to ignore the lead from US markets, which are largely about stock and sector specific reaction to quarterly profit results that are now coming thick and fast. Local investors are also likely to be cautious ahead of our own profit reporting season which gets underway next week

Currency markets have also stabilised with some profit taking arresting the decline in the US Dollar and leading to a minor retreat below $0.80 for the Aussie. Traders may now be content to wait on a busy data schedule over the coming week which, amongst other things, includes US GDP and inflation data; an RBA meeting and international manufacturing PMI’s

Metal markets also encountered profit taking over night with copper finishing below its opening level after 2 days of explosive price gains. This comes at BHP’s share price returns to trend line resistance and may steady the recent rally in mining stocks today.