Investors head into what looks like a relatively steady start to stock market trading this morning without a lot of immediate reason for concern. Today might be the kind of session where markets follow the line of least resistance, pushing the ASX 200 higher by the end of the day.

The European Central Bank removed a source of immediate risk for traders by revealing that it did not discuss tapering its QE program at this month’s meeting. Indeed looking at the list of things not discussed by the ECB this month poses the question of what they did talk about. Topics not discussed included future rate cuts; extended bond buying and tapering the QE program.  Decisions are being deferred until December pending the outcome of research meaning that meeting will be a key focus for markets.

The materials sector may get assistance today from a firm spot iron ore price; a weaker Aussie Dollar and a solid set of production reports from major producers. Mining and energy stocks are now well into the implementation phase of their productivity strategies which are for the main part on budget and on track; helping to support share prices.

The oil market began to look nervous around the resistance of recent highs last night meaning that energy stocks may follow suit and become a drag on the overall market today.