Day traders face a confusing and conflicting day. International stocks and key commodities are lower but pre-market local data is positive. The banking inquiry rolls on ahead of the RBA meeting this afternoon, and all of this is framed by a near certain rate rise in the US next week.

Futures markets are pointing to a small slip at the opening. However futures trading closed before the release this morning of construction data that showed expansion in February. Metals prices fell overnight, notably copper and iron ore, but oil markets remained steady in the face of a higher USD. BHP’s diversified commodity portfolio makes it a sentiment bellwether today.

There is universal agreement that the RBA will not change interest rates this afternoon, to the point of complacency.  However a risk to the market performance today is the board taking a leaf from the Fed play book, and increases forward signalling. Any suggestions that the RBA is moving to a tightening bias could rattle the cage.

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