Global manufacturing was healthier than expected in July. PMIs in China, the UK, Italy, Germany and France all indicated expansion at a faster rate than forecast. The US PMI disappointed, but the ISM manufacturing read 15 minutes later jumped on a surge in new orders. The robust data lifted stocks and industrial commodities, and put bonds under modest pressure.

Despite the pro-risk trading the US dollar strengthened as longs took profit in Euro and the safe haven status of the yen lost its allure. Cryptocurrencies continued their recent rise. Ripple touched $0.32, to claim a better than 60% gain in 10 days. Bitcoin Cash is up more than 21% over the last week.

US reporting season is entering its final stages. With close to 70% of reports in, Healthcare is the best performing sector, with a 5% lift in both sales and profits. IT stocks lifted sales by 7%, but profits are down 2%. Oil and gas is the hardest hit, with falls of more than 50% in sales and earnings. Utilities stand out, with a 7.8% lift in profits despite a 6.4% slide in sales. Clorox reported strongly, and Mosaic bucked industry trends. Ralph Lauren (EPS f/c -$1.73) reports tonight.

The regional focus turns to Australian data today. Imports and exports are forecast to grow at 3% - 4% in June. Retail sales are expected to lift 2.4% over the same time, to record a quarterly fall of 3.0%. The Reserve Bank of Australia signalled recently that there will be no change to the current 0.25% cash rate at its meeting today. Analysts will hone in on the economic forecasts accompanying the announcement.

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