Quiet market day with some downside risk

Today looks like being a Friday consolidation for the stock market as traders head into the weekend with little in the way of news scheduled for the Asian region.

Today looks like being a Friday consolidation for the stock market as traders head into the weekend with little in the way of news scheduled for the Asian region.

Commodity markets were a mixed bag. Solid gains in base metals like copper were offset by a small dip in yesterday’s spot iron ore price. Wednesday night’s strong upward momentum in US oil prices has also not followed through at this stage.  Following the initial surge after a break through chart resistance, the oil market put in a much more subdued performance last night, eking out moderate gains. The net effect is likely to be relatively neutral for the overall materials sector today. However the potential for selling to develop due to disappointment over loss of momentum in the key iron ore and oil markets is a risk on the day.

Currency markets are front of mind for traders at the moment. US housing starts continued the run of soft data relating to overall performance of the US economy in March. Traders are coming increasingly to the view that Fed interest rate hikes are likely to be delayed and more gradual than previously forecast. This is beginning to put downward pressure on the $US. At the same time, the Aussie Dollar got an upside surprise yesterday with much stronger than expected jobs data. This combination weaker than expected US data and stronger than expected Australian data has created strong buying in the Aussie Dollar

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