Disclaimer: All information on this section is of a general nature.
Before making any investment decision, you should consult your adviser.
The Australian market is set to be pushed and pulled this week by waves of domestic corporate reports, key (mostly international) data releases and geopolitical issues.
Overnight Friday, US equities markets advanced for a second consecutive session.
In overnight Friday commodities trade, US gold futures settled slightly lower. Oil rallied. Copper, nickel and iron ore jumped.
The $A was pushed higher after slipping below US76.40c Friday evening.
Since then, geopolitical tensions have grown with the launch of a ballistic missile from North Korea into South Korean marine territory.
Locally today, major reporting season warms. A weekly house price report is also due. The week’s major domestic data release will be the January employment report, due Thursday.
Japan reports December quarter GDP 10.50am AEDST.
Major European and US equities markets continued higher overnight Friday, supported by rallying commodity prices and US tax-cut optimism.
In the UK, industrial output was reported 1.1% higher for the month and 4.3% year-on-year, boosted by a 2.1% monthly increase for manufacturing.
In the US, an initial 95.7 February University of Michigan consumer confidence estimate undershot expectations by 2.2, coming in 2.8 points below January’s reading.
January import prices were calculated to have risen 0.4%, double the average forecast. Export prices rose 0.1%.
Over the weekend, US Federal Reserve deputy chair Stanley Fischer confirmed a view of ‘significant uncertainty’ regarding US fiscal policy, in particular regarding potential adjustments to regulations introduced following the 2008-09 international financial crisis. Friday, a Federal Reserve governor announced his intention to resign in early April.
Germany’s parliament elected a former foreign minister as president, one who is viewed as a critic of ‘fear’ and ‘hate’-style politics.
Meanwhile, Greece’s PM repeated his government’s belief that an agreement was possible for the release of further support funding, as creditors continued to warn of the opposite.
Tonight in the US, no major economic data releases are due.
Asics, Kirin and Saab are among companies scheduled to report earnings today and tonight.
In corporate news, private equity group Cinven has offered €3.6B for Stada, a drug manufacturer specialising in generics including for Viagra.
As previously flagged, Reckitt Benckiser confirmed an agreed $US16.6B purchase of Mead Johnson.