The better than expected US jobs figures gave markets an early boost but a late selloff leaves little direction for Aussie investors

Following yesterday’s strong intraday rally off the lows, the local bourse looks set to open largely unchanged around the 4483 level. Trade in the US has been anything but inspiring, although the session did open strongly higher following the better than expected US jobless claims, which came in at the lowest level since February 2008.

However, the buying couldn’t be sustained as participants used the early strength to once again offload stocks. With ten minutes to trade all three of the major indices are hovering around the flat line.

Given all the headlines and pessimism surrounding the earnings season and the small pullback seen in markets, one would expect the fear index, or VIX to be pushing significantly higher. Instead, it’s just hanging around the 15 level which shows that there’s not a lot of participants looking to purchase downside protection in the way of S&P 500 put options.

Looking ahead to today’s session and there isn’t going to be a lot for traders to hang their hats on. The energy sector has been a bright spot in the US thanks to rising oil prices, so we may see some of that sentiment rub off on the local oilers. Materials names look like they should be reasonably well supported too.

With no economic releases due, focus will be on regional markets and how they look to close out the week before attention turns towards tonight’s report from US banking giant JPMorgan. Given the complete lack of news flow, we wouldn’t be surprised at all to see traders sitting on their hands today and waiting for more definitive leads.

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