A scramble for capital stability is driving global investor behaviour. As markets contemplate the drag of a global trade dispute, and the consequent more accommodative stance from central banks, bonds yields are trading near eighteen-month lows. The Japanese yen is another beneficiary, although gold is yet to join the party. Stocks are under pressure.

There are indicators that not everyone agrees. High-growth tech stocks were top performers in overnight US trading. Industrial commodities are also defying the anti-growth trend. Oil, copper and iron ore all recorded surprising gains over the last few trading sessions. This could see Materials stocks buoy the Australia 200 index today.

Perhaps the most significant divergence is in China mainland stocks. The Shanghai and Shenzen exchanges are looking at a third day of gains despite the pressures of the trade disagreement. This may reflect a view that a negotiated break through is imminent. Investors on the ground in China are often well informed, and regional traders will look to the leads provided from the mainland today.

Australia’s largest telco announced impairment charges and write-downs ahead of today’s market opening. Telstra also confirmed its cost-cutting program is on track. While the increased costs will hit the bottom line investors may support the company on a view that its post-NBN transition is well under way.

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