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Markets await further US-China trade updates

Published August 12, 2019

By Rowan Murphy

With nothing (domestically or internationally) to be released today, expect liquidity and trading to be light on with a Japanese public holiday. This week though has a slew of economic releases both locally and internationally.

Locally we have the NAB Business Confidence survey, Westpac Consumer Sentiment, Wage Price Index and Unemployment, whilst internationally there is ‘bucket load’ of US data releases. Although most eyes and ears will be open for developments in the US-China trade story.

Trade tensions continued to drive financial market moves into the end of last week, markets had a risk-off tone as Trump warned that talks scheduled for next month may not take place.

On the other side of the pond the UK economy contracted in Q2 (versus expectations for a flat read) and annual growth fell from 1.8% to 1.2%. The negative print adds to recessionary fears in an atmosphere where Brexit continues to dominate headlines, the approaching October deadline (self-imposed by BOJO) is on the very near horizon, given how long they had to deal with it so far.

Iron ore remained under pressure as rising supply and weakening demand (who could have guessed this was coming?) weighed, there has been a 14% decline in prices over the past week.

Gold futures remain at almost all-time highs as markets remain concerned about weakening economic growth and the escalating trade conflict.

Expect volatility to be the norm for some time yet.