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Market Opener - 18 May 2017

Local Markets Commentary

The Australian market opens today’s trade ahead of key domestic and regional data, on broadly negative international equities sentiment, but also some positive key commodities leads.

Locally today, the ABS publishes April employment statistics, including unemployment and wages growth, 11.30am AEST. A monthly inflation expectations report is also due, from the Melbourne Institute. Post-ASX trade, the RBA reports monthly forex transactions plus assets.

Regionally, China’s April property prices are also expected 11.30am.

Japan is due to release March quarter GDP 9.50am AEST.

In overnight commodities trade, gold futures rallied. Oil swung higher. Iron ore (China port, 62% Fe) moved higher for a second consecutive session. LME copper settled virtually flat again, but nickel turned higher and rallied.

The $A was pushed higher after trading at US74.0c early yesterday evening.

Overseas Market Commentary

Major European and US equities markets fell on or near opening overnight.

Political ructions in the US were claimed to have prompted more investors to question the ability of the new administration to achieve legislation enabling promised general regulatory, taxation, manufacturing investment and infrastructure spending change.

Reports also appeared, speculating whether the US could face another administrative change earlier than usual, sparking fears of global growth implications.

Meanwhile in the UK, wages were reported to have fallen 0.2% during the March quarter.

The annual wages growth rate came in at 2.1% against a 2.3% CPI.

Unemployment was reported at 4.6% as at 31 March, supporting the government’s case ahead of the 8 June general election.

Reports also emerged however, that the current government would renege on a former PM’s promise to place bounds on aged care costs.

In the US, the Office of Management & Budget promised a full 2018 fiscal budget would be revealed 23 May.

Among US data releases, weekly mortgage applications fell 4.1%.

Tonight in the US, weekly new unemployment claims are due, together with a leading indicators report and regional manufacturing index.

Alibaba, Balfour Beatty, Burberry, Gap, Investec, Mothercare, Royal Mail,, Singapore Airlines, Singapore Telecommunications (includes Optus) and Walmart are among companies scheduled to publish earnings or an update today or tonight.

Stocks listed to trade ex-dividend on the FTSE 100 include HSBC and Royal Dutch Shell.

In overnight corporate news, Ford Motor Co confirmed reports it was looking to cut a further 1400 jobs.

Cisco Systems fell on a disappointing revenue outlook.

Facebook was reported to be facing a WhatsApp acquisition-related penalty before week’s end from the European Union.

US retailer Target advanced after quarterly results, including $US16B worth of sales revenue, exceeded expectations.

American Eagle Outfitters and Urban Outfitters suffered 14.7% and 4.2% declines, however, on weak outlooks and soft sales.

18/05/2017 7:45:45 AM

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