Simmering global trade tensions pushed on share prices across Europe and the Americas overnight. However trader speculation ahead of Friday’s OPEC meeting saw oil prices jump. Momentum in US shares turned positive after a weak start and may see investors from China play catch up after yesterday’s holiday. A lack of major data releases in the Asia Pacific region today could mean another session of lower volumes.

The US dollar held ground against the Yen and the Euro, but gold prices slid further on chart based selling. Bonds rallied modestly as last week’s major central bank statements continued to reverberate. The weakness in European stocks suggests investors have backed away from their original enthusiasm for the lower-for-longer interest rate outlook to focus on sobering growth prospects.

Australia may buck the trend. The lift in energy prices and selected metals appears to have bypassed the Australian dollar while lifting the SPI futures market.

The indication at the New York close is that the Australia 200 index will gain 35 points. Yesterday’s surprising lift in the index came despite heavy falls in Materials and Energy and may explain the positive move against the negative global backdrop. A weaker Australian dollar may have also attracted international investors. The release of the most recent RBA meeting minutes and first quarter housing indices could put bank stocks in the spotlight today.

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