Mixed trading and a lack of coherence across asset classes overnight offered bias confirmation across the investment spectrum. Economic optimists may prefer the share market rallies and a rising oil price while pessimists can point to slumping metal prices and bond market pressures. A more balanced interpretation of market action may be a battening down of positions, ahead of the FOMC rate decision and influential data due in the next few days.

The imminent events mean Asia Pacific futures markets are showing a muted response to the stock gains in Europe and the US. Lower volume light trading seems likely. As the blanket of central bank accommodation is pulled back individual security and market factors have greater impact. News of a heat increase in Saudi relations with Iran spiked oil prices, despite a general slump in industrial commodities.

The lack of support for gold prices indicates investors remain reasonably confident, with little demand for safe havens or inflation hedges. Currency markets could rise in influence over market thinking as the US dollar index breaks back over 90 and the Japanese Yen stabilises after recent gains.

Despite a 7 point rise in index futures the combined effects of slumping metals and pressure on financial stocks from the Royal Commission could see the Australia 200 index close in negative territory today.

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