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AU market open: Expect a quiet day of trading as investors await ECB announcement
00:00, 31 July 2012
A quiet day of trading is anticipated as investors await ECB announcement on plans to support Spanish and Italian bond yields. Investors around the world have increased risk exposure in recent days in response to ECB President Mario Draghi’s indication that lowering the level of Spanish bond yields fell within the mandate of the ECB. Markets are now parked at around Monday’s levels waiting to assess details of what the ECB intends to do in support of this mandate. Thursday’s ECB meeting may be a critical event in shaping investor risk appetite. Australian markets are sitting at technical resistance levels as they position for Thursday’s meeting. In the case of the Aussie Dollar, this resistance is at around 1.05 and takes the form of a trend line across the top of a clearly defined channel that has contained the currency since mid-June. The S&P/ASX 200 index is currently being contained by resistance represented by the bottom of the March/April tracing range. Bold announcements by the ECB are likely to see markets break through this resistance while a disappointing result will see prices retreat back into recent ranges. Investors owning cyclical stocks exposed to the domestic building industry will be watching this morning’s building approval figures for further signs that activity may be starting to form a base in response to lower interest rates and improving affordability. Yesterday’ HIA home sales report showed a second month of improved sales off a low base following higher apartment sales. Today’s approval figures are anticipated to decline after last month’s very strong number. However, investors will be looking for signs of an improving trend over recent months.