Mixed signals on trade negotiations saw markets diverge in overnight trading. Oil rose, but copper fell. Gold and bonds sold down, pointing to better growth, but shares also dropped. While trade remains the key to market performance a full round of activity indicators over the next twenty-four hours could determine short-term market moves.
Positive remarks from China’s highest-level negotiator helped offset concerns that a signed trade agreement is overdue. Market expectations that the now cancelled APEC meeting on November 16-17 would see President’s Xi and Trump ink a phase one deal are dashed. Some commentators suggest early 2020 is the best hope for a pact, but a delay of this nature would increase uncertainty, add to perceptions of complexity, and undermine investor confidence.
The trade ambiguity leaves major currency markets becalmed. Crypto markets are rallying in early Asia Pacific trading after an overnight belting. The CMC All Crypto index fell from above 2,700 to trade below 2,500. If the downward momentum resumes the index could test eight-month lows near 2,340, well down from the June peak above 5,600.
Manufacturing and services PMIs for November kicked off this morning in Australia with reading just below the breakeven point of 50. The UK, France, Germany and the US will report over the global session, with most estimates in a tight range between 49 and 53. Japanese inflation numbers and German GDP will round out the economic snapshot.
Australian share futures indicate the local market will once again go its own way today. Despite the negative leads index traders have lifted the Australia 200 by 36 points overnight, easing some of the damage done over the previous two sessions. Westpac remains in an (unwanted) spotlight as its board meets to deal with the fall-out of serious allegations from Austrac, the anti-money laundering and cash transaction regulator.