Currency markets remain steady as the US dollar continued to ease back from recent highs. Mixed and benign bond and commodity trading contributed to a calmer market atmosphere. Share markets reacted to results, with a similar effect expected today in Australia after a better than forecast result from ANZ Bank.

Tech giant Alphabet reported a better than expected profit overnight but a slowing in sales growth has analysts concerned. Although the S&P500 and Dow Jones indices recorded modest gains the Nasdaq dropped as investors factored lower expectations for tech stocks. The impact is muted somewhat by a better than expected after-market result from Apple.

West Texas crude fell after a weekly inventory build of 5.5 million barrels smashed the median estimate closer to 1.5 million. However Brent crude lifted, suggesting an overall constructive demand scenario. A slip in gold prices disappointed given the lower dollar. Base metals were mixed in both London and Chicago trading

Holidays in Japan and China may see low key trading in the Asia Pacific region today.  Australian overnight futures closed 20 points higher this morning, before ANZ issued its first half result. Cash profits grew 2%, a potential positive surprise in light of the tougher operating environment. Net profit fell a better than forecast 5%. A 13 basis point fall in margins and a cautious outlook statement may limit investor enthusiasm at the open today.

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