The main interest on Friday was once again in the stock markets, which saw the US indices fall by 0.3%-0.5%, led by the weakness in banks and finance firms, adding to the political and trade tensions weighing on the market. The currencies were choppy but mostly unchanged on the day with early positive risk sentiment fading as traders cut positions ahead of the weekend due to the ongoing Middle East tension and cold war nerves. This particularly applied to the Aud$ and the Yen which saw a decent reversal of early session moves, although both finished the day pretty much where they started and have opened Monday a little higher, indicating there is no immediate follow through in risk-off sentiment following the weekend US missile strikes on Syria. The commodities were all winners, with both Gold and Oil up by 0.3%-0.5%, while Silver put on 1%.
The coming week will have some activity on most days although most of it will be of a secondary nature and the real activity seems likely to revolve around risk on/off scenarios related to the Middle East/Russia So far, in very early Monday trade, there has been negligible impact on markets from Saturday’s US led missile attack on Syrian targets. In terms of data, the US Retail Sales for March will be today’s main focus (exp -0.1%mm, Retail Control group +0.1%, Ex-Auto +0.2%). The NAHB Housing Market Index and the Business Inventories for Feb are also due. Tuesday will be busy in Asia, with the release of the RBA Minutes, China Retail Sales, Industrial Production, GDP-Q1 and the NBA Press Conference, which will be followed in Europe by the UK Unemployment data and the German/EU ZEW Economic Sentiment Survey. Wednesday will look to the UK CPI, PPI, RPI and the EU CPI. Thursday will then kick off with the NZ CPI, the Australian NAB Business Confidence/Conditions and Unemployment data and will be followed in Europe by the UK Retail Sales for March. Friday will be quiet although there is an IMF Meeting taking place and there are, of course, the possibility of Presidential Tweets at any time during the week, not to mention a possible escalation in the US/Russia tensions. Have a good one.
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|ASX SPI: 5808|