Bonds and gold rallied again overnight, setting a new high-tide mark for the yellow metal just below $2,070. A softer US dollar supported commodity prices, although key industrial inputs copper, iron ore and crude oil edged lower. European stocks fell, but US indices managed gains on the back of a handful of tech stocks.

Expectations that the US parliament will pass a new round of Covid support measures reportedly drove the US stock rally. The tech-heavy Nasdaq index hit another all-time high, ansd the S&P 500 rose to within 1.5% of its record. However 18 of the 21 SPX point overnight gain is attributable to just 5 stocks – Amazon, Apple. Alphabet, Microsoft and Facebook.

As US reporting season heads into its final week the overall results are good relative to forecasts, but dramatically down on the previous quarter. Hilton Worldwide illustrated the real world damage caused by lockdown with a loss that was close to double analysts’ estimates. However most reports beat forecasts, including Ball Corp, American Electric, Bristol-Myer Squib and ABioMed.

There are two important data releases on the market horizon. China trade data today is crucial to the “v-shaped recovery” narrative. Exports in June are tipped to fall 0.6%, and imports to rise 1%. A stronger performance could see regional share markets overcome current indications of initial weakness. Analysts predict 1.2 million US non-farm jobs were created in July, easing the unemployment rate to 10.6% from 11.1% previously.

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