Slow start to week tipped

AUSTRALIAN stocks are tipped to make a subdued start to the trading week as market players catch their breath after a recent rally.

AUSTRALIAN stocks are tipped to make a subdued start to the trading week as market players catch their breath after a recent rally.

CommSec chief economist Craig James says he expects quiet conditions when the local market opens today. "We had a really good gain on Friday and I think investors are just going to bed down those gains," Mr James said.

"Monday will probably be more of a day of consolidation than anything else."

The sharemarket closed Friday's local session up 0.9 per cent, finishing higher for a seventh straight session.

Jobs numbers are expected to be the focus for the local market this week, with the Australian Bureau of Statistics due to publish the September labour force report on Thursday. Economists expect the economy to have added 5000 jobs in the month, and forecast the unemployment rate to rise to 5.3 per cent, from 5.1 per cent in August.

A private-sector job advertisements survey, as well as reports on consumer confidence and business conditions, are also due out this week.

Reserve Bank of Australia deputy governor Philip Lowe is scheduled to speak at a Financial Services Institute of Australasia lunch in Hobart tomorrow.

The Australian dollar finished overseas trading at 101.7 US cents, down from Friday's local close of 102.51 US cents. AAP

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