Regional markets are looking at a calm start to the trading day ahead of tonight’s US non-farm payrolls data. Overnight trading saw European equities move slightly higher and base metals rose, indicating a modest growth bias. However oil fell while currencies steadied. Support for safe havens lifted gold and bond prices.  US markets were closed for the Independence Day holiday.

A net 160,000 new US jobs in June is the consensus forecast. This represents a bounce back from May’s disappointing 90,000. Both numbers are below the two-year average closer to 200,000, and are in line with current growth concerns. A read lower than forecast will confirm the current market narrative, and shares could continue their rise as investors anticipate lower interest rates for longer. The danger is a number over 200,000. This would indicate a stronger US economy, but could disrupt markets by diminishing expectations of Fed rate cuts.

Whitehaven coal will release its quarterly sales and revenue data after the opening this morning. It comes at a crucial time after several broker downgrades in the last week added to share price pressure that has seen the stock drop from $6.00 last year to $3.71 at yesterday’s close. A better than expected sales result could mean a sharp turnaround for the coalminer.

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