Asia Pacific investors face a disappointing session after European and US indices lost ground overnight. Bonds and gold rallied, and oil slipped again as overall market activity tilted back towards weaker growth and more central bank accommodation. Currency markets remain eerily quiet. Cryptocurrencies rose overnight but are under renewed pressure this morning.
Aftermarket corporate reporting complicates the story. eBay shares are trading higher after a smaller than expected decline in profits, but IBM is weaker and Netflix is down more than 12% after reporting a fall in US subscribers. Around 10% of S&P 500 companies have fronted the market this quarter. Early indications are notoriously unreliable, bit so far both sales and earnings are ahead of estimates.
Data may determine market direction today. Japanese trade numbers are due this morning. If they echo the China data from Monday and show more robust imports and exports they ease fears of the impact of the global trade dispute.
An Australian Bureau of Statistics employment release late this morning could influence thinking on local interest rate cuts. The median forecast is an increase of 9,000 jobs, leaving the unemployment rate unchanged at 5.2%. The trend in data is important, especially in light of the previous month’s surprise 42,300 positions jump on a decade high participation rate.