Asia Pacific currency and stock markets are subdued this morning ahead of a data heavy week. Trading volumes are low and movement contained in line with muted leads from international markets. Japanese shares are lower despite better than expected producer price inflation and a modestly stronger US dollar.
Bonds and the spot gold price are lower, indicating confidence in at least the near term outlook. The potential for politics to drive markets appears much diminished. Republicans in the US are reportedly unable to agree on tax reforms, and the Australian government has lost its majority after the weekend resignation of a lower house MP. Both are undetectable in the muted market action.
Two of the four major Australian banks (ANZ and Westpac) are trading ex-dividend this morning. These account for around 17 index points, meaning the market is technically trading higher. While Australian investors will look to China retail sales and industrial production data, and local wages and jobs numbers later in the week, there is comfort that the main index remaining above 6,000 points to further gains to come.
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