It’s a “good news, bad news” day for Australian investors, as leads point in different directions and conflicting market forces mean the close today is anyone’s guess. Weaker share markets overnight are offset by commodity gains, and uncertainty around the beginning US reporting season is compounded by recent extraordinary China trade data.
In a divergent performance yesterday Australia shares generally and resource stocks in particular fell heavily after China trade data showed a collapse in both imports and exports for March. However, shares in Shanghai and Hong Kong rallied sharply as investors bet on further stimulus measures. This weakness in Australia comes at a crucial market point, as the Australia 200 index peeled away from the post GFC high at 6,000 for the third time, adding a technical note to the selling.
Sentiment surrounding the US reporting season could also weigh. A stronger USD has analysts predicting a quarterly earnings contraction in the US, for the first time in more than two years. Cautious investor behaviour in the US could translate to a downdraft in Australia.
A bounce in oil and iron ore prices overnight could see resources go from zero to hero today. Consumer confidence and a business survey could influence trading, as will the openings in Tokyo and Hong Kong.
For further comment from Michael McCarthy at CMC Markets please call 02 8221 2135.