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The Australian market opens today’s trade in the absence of US leads, amid another swag of domestic corporate earnings, and ahead of traditionally influential reports from the RBA and out of Japan.
Several high-profile stocks also trade ex-dividend, including BLD, DMP and SUN.
In overnight commodities trade, Brent crude gained. LME gold futures pulled back moderately. LME copper and iron ore (China port, 62% Fe) rallied.
The $A traded within a narrow range after approaching ~US76.85c yesterday evening.
Locally today, the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) releases the minutes of its 7 February policy meeting, 11.30am AEDST.
Pre-trade, a weekly consumer sentiment reading is due. The Conference Board is also due to publish its February leading index for Australia today.
In Japan, an initial February manufacturing PMI is due 11.30am AEDST and an all industry index ~3.30pm.
Major mainland and UK European equities markets trade diverged overnight, but financial stocks generally proved in favour.
US equities and bond markets did not trade due to a public holiday.
Greece and creditors reportedly decided to let an independent team put together a new package of reforms that could potentially be agreed and satisfied. This could enable further bailout funding to be released so that Greece can meet debt repayments.
In Germany, January producer prices were reported 0.7% higher for the month, and 2.4% year-on-year, the greatest annual-basis growth rate in more than four years.
Meanwhile, two-year German sovereign bond yields traded at a record low -0.87%, while 10-year French sovereign bond yields rose as high as 1.10%.
Tonight in the US, initial February PMI estimates are due from Markit.
Across the Atlantic, Bank of England governor Mark Carney is scheduled to meet with the UK parliament’s treasury committee.
AngloAmerican, BHP Billiton, Hang Seng Bank (HK) & HSBC, InterContinental, Macy’s and Wal-Mart are among companies expected to report earnings later today and tonight.
In overnight corporate news, Royal Bank of Scotland gained after confirmation the government-rescued bank was not selling Williams & Glyn.
Unilever’s price dropped after US-headquartered Kraft Heinz abandoned its merger bid.