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Market Opener – 15 May 2018

Local Markets Commentary
The Australian market opens today’s trade on benign overnight international equities leads, ahead of key domestic and regional reports. 

Overnight commodities trade again proved decidedly mixed.

Brent crude rallied while WTI settled moderately higher. 

US gold futures continued lower.

A three-day rally for iron ore (China port, 62% Fe) picked up in pace.

LME copper swung lower and aluminium higher. Nickel surged, extending Friday’s strong gain.

The $A slipped to ~US75.30c after trading at ~US75.50c early yesterday evening.

Locally today, the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) releases the minutes of its 1 May policy meeting 11.30am AEST.

This morning in Sydney, RBA deputy governor Guy Debelle has addressed possible static wage growth in a presentation on The Outlook for the Australian Economy at a CFO forum.

Dr Debelle will also speak on Interest Rate Benchmark Reform via video link at an International Swaps & Derivatives Association forum, Hong Kong, 11.40am AEST.

In addition today, a weekly consumer sentiment reading is due pre-trade, and April overall lending figures, as calculated by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

Regionally, China’s April industrial production, fixed asset investment and retail sales figures are anticipated midday AEST.

Overseas Market Commentary
Choppy trade continued across major European and US equities markets overnight, in the absence of major data releases, ahead of the resumption of US-China trade talks tonightin the US, and some influential data releases for China, the US, euro zone and the UK.

Tonight in the US, April retail sales, March business inventories, a New York area business conditions index and home builders’ monthly survey report are due. 

Elsewhere, Germany issues its first March quarter GDP growth estimate and the euro zone its second, among other key reports.

The UK releases wages growth and unemployment statistics.

Companies scheduled to report earnings later today or tonight include Allianz, CAR Inc, CYBG (interim), easyJet (interim), Home Depot, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial (full year), Noble Group, Premier Foods (full year), Toshiba (full year) and Vodafone (full year).

In overnight corporate news, Qualcomm’s potential $44B acquisition of NXP Semiconductors helped push NXP 12% higher.

Xerox confirmed the planned $US6B merger with Fuji film was off as of late-Sunday, in association with board renewal involving activist investor Carl Icahn. Together with an analyst rating downgrade, the new uncertainty pushed Xerox as much as 7% lower.
15/05/2018 8:00:00 AM

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