China data could spark sharemarket

The Australian sharemarket is expected to start the week in flat territory following modest gains in the US on Friday.

The Australian sharemarket is expected to start the week in flat territory following modest gains in the US on Friday.

But the release of Chinese economic growth figures on Monday for June and the June quarter could end up being a strong market mover.

On Wall Street, the S&P 500 finished about 0.3 per cent higher on Friday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was flat and the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index closed 0.61 per cent higher.

In futures trading in Australia on the ASX 24, the September share price index futures contract was pointing to a slight gain on Monday, trading 14 points stronger at 4950.

The ASX200 Index of Australia's largest companies had a good week last week, posting gains of an average 2.7 per cent.

CommSec chief economist Craig James said the futures trading indicated Australia might play "follow the leader" to the US. Higher base metals prices might help the Australian market, while the spot iron ore price was up above $US125 ($136.88) a tonne on Friday.

"Those Chinese GDP figures include economic growth, production, retail spending and the like and can be a real market turner," Mr James said.

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