The stock market will follow the US lead this morning with a positive opening, helped by a lift in the spot iron ore price

Despite the positive early tone, any lift in the ASX 200 this morning will be just another gyration that leaves the index firmly within the range it has traded over the past couple of weeks. Traders are yet to get evidence of the burst of “animal spirits” required to propel the index to a year-end close of 5600 or beyond.

If today’s real GDP growth data does print negative, the headline may dampen consumer sentiment. However, weak growth this quarter is likely to be a temporary phenomenon. Nominal GDP growth is also likely to be substantially better than the headline GDP number, reflecting the benefit to Australia of the significant gains in iron ore and coal prices over recent months.

The oil price is struggling to get clear of this year’s highs. While OPEC’s production cuts look likely to push prices higher once they begin to take effect next year, the spot price is currently being constrained by current high production levels from OPEC members as well as large inventories. 

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