The ASX 200 is up 28 points in late morning trade. Most sectors higher. Gold the exception. Quiet on news. Big week next with RBA and US jobs the highlight.  #ausbiz


  • Economic data – Private Sector Credit
  • Japanese data – Unemployment Rate, Industrial Production, Retail Sales, Construction Orders, Housing Starts
  • Ex-dividend – Pioneer Credit (PNC) 4.3c


  • UK – Gfk Consumer Confidence, Business Investment, Current Account Q4, GDP Growth Rate
  • US economic data – Personal Income, Personal Spending, PCE Price Index, Core PCE Price Index, Univ. of Michigan Consumer Sentiment – Final


  • Skycity (SKY) – Sale of Darwin business to Delaware North now unconditional.



  • Domestically – RBA meeting, house prices, retail sales and trade data
  • China – official PMI data over the weekend (both manufacturing and services) and the Caixin version later in the week.
  • European inflation and unemployment and PMI numbers
  • UK – also PMI numbers
  • US – ISM index and retail sales on Monday, followed by employment data on Friday





US EQUITIES – S&P 500 +10 (+0.36%), Dow +92 (+0.36%), NASDAQ +26 (+0.34%)

Main themes

  • Positive trade talk developments with Chinese concessions rerpoted.
  • Downward revision to 4Q GDP from 2.6% to 2.2%. Even with the downgrade, growth over the year (4Q17 to 4Q18) was 3.0% (down from 3.1%) and 2018 annual over 2017 annual was 2.9%.
  • Trump calls for OPEC to increase production via twitter.

EUROPEAN MARKETS – Mixed. STOXX500 -0.12%, UK FTSE +0.56%, German DAX +0.08%, French CAC -0.09%.


  • The USD is stronger at 97.25
  • The Aussie dollar is lower at US70.78.

BONDS – 2-yr: +2 bps to 2.23%, 3-yr: +3 bps to 2.17%, 5-yr: +4 bps to 2.20%, 10-yr: +2 bps to 2.39%, 30-yr: -1 bp to 2.81%


  • Oil – WTI futures fell US11c to close at US$59.30 a barrel recovering from lows after Trump’s tweet. “Very important that OPEC increase the flow of Oil. World Markets are fragile, price of Oil getting too high. Thank you!”.
  • Iron Ore – IRESS reports that iron ore was down US50c at $86.500. CommSec reports iron ore was down US55c or 0.7% to U$83.85.
  • LME metals – Mixed. Copper +0.50%, nickel -1.34%, aluminium +0.11% but lead rose 0.0%


  • US economic data – Weekly Initial Claims 211,000 (consensus 220,000; prior 216,000), Continuing Claims 1.756 m; prior 1.743m), Q4 GDP – Third Estimate 2.2% (consensus 2.5%; prior 2.6%), and Q4 GDP Deflator 1.7% (consensus 1.8%; prior 1.8%); February Pending Home Sales -1.0% (consensus 0.5%; prior 4.3%)
  • Chinese growth – Premier Li Keqiang said changes in the Chinese economy exceeded expectations in March. He also reiterated the push to open market access for foreign investors in banking, securities, and insurance.
  • US-China trade – Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin arrived in Beijing on Thursday. The latest round of trade negotiations is expected to continue through Friday.
  • Brexit – After MPs rejected all eight alternative Brexit proposals, Brexit Minister Stephen Barclay said the outcome showed that Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal is the best option available. The deal will be up for vote again on Friday.
  • ECB Chief Economist Peter Praet said the ECB needs a solid monetary policy case before implementing tiered deposit rates. This is in response to comments from President Mario Draghi about looking at the risks of negative interest rates on banks.

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