US China Trade Tariffs

US China Trade Tariffs

Shares on Wall Street closed modestly lower on Friday, paring losses in afternoon trade after the US and then China slapped tariffs on $US50 billion of each others imports. President Donald Trump has threatened to escalate the dispute, putting another $US100 billion of Chinese goods in line for tariffs.

What's unclear however is whether investors are going to initiate a broad rethink of their positioning.

Tensions Ease in Europe

Tensions Ease in Europe

The threat that Italy's political crisis would deepen receded, for now, after a new government was sworn into office and there also was a smooth transition of power in Spain to a socialist government.

What remains uncertain in a global context is the ever more protectionist approach to trade by the Trump administration. His decision to hit Canada, the EU and Mexico with steel and aluminium tariffs has put all allies of the US on notice; President Trump lashed out at criticism from Canada's Justin Trudeau.

Gold and Oil Lead Markets

Gold and Oil Lead Markets

The S&P/ASX 200 appears to be heading toward a month-end close below 6000 points — which would wipe out this month's recovery effort. After running solidly through the 6100 mark on May 14th, the index has been in reverse and there seems little this week to check that downward drift.

The expectation that the ASX will struggle further was affirmed, yet again, in the latest global asset allocation note from Citigroup. The US bank continues to recommend investors be "underweight" Australian shares.

Geopolitical developments are poised to further direction to investors amid a dearth of economic data at the start of the week.

Markets Performing Strongly

Investors this week will be watching Thursday's labour force report and a speech from deputy RBA governor Guy Debelle on Tuesday. Also of interest is the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics wage price index - for January-March - which is scheduled for release on Wednesday.

High petrol prices will remain on the radar of the "ordinary" consumer, as will future government by-elections and pending opposition agreement over the tax reform package, announced in the budget last Tuesday

In Europe, they've had seven straight weeks of gains - the longest winning streak in three years

Corporations with updates in terms of their trading results will be among this week's playmakers.

Reporting, RBA & Royal Commissions

The Australian dollar bounced back toward the US76¢ mark as the US dollar waned as economic growth data confirmed a slower pace in the first quarter and the yield on the US 10-year Treasury noted slipped to 2.96 per cent.

It's going to be a busy week for the local market with, among others, results from Origin Energy today, ANZ Banking on Tuesday, Woolworths on Wednesday, NAB on Thursday and Macquarie on Friday.

Macro Tensions Ease, US Reporting Kicks Off

One weekend development that could impact early trade was news from North Korea that it has suspended nuclear weapon and long-range missile tests. That statement comes ahead of a meeting of the leaders of the two Koreas and as North Korea and the US work towards a meeting between Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump.

In a shortened week - with the ASX closed on Wednesday for ANZAC Day, the local focus this morning will be on AMP and the rest of Australia's financial industry.

Markets uncertain footing after Syria strikes

Wall Street eased on Friday night after the first wave of US earnings failed to meet investors' high expectations, and that bodes poorly for global equities.

Shares on Wall Street drifted lower on Friday in New York on the earnings' misses and as investors appeared to opt for the sidelines going into the weekend, ahead of Saturday morning's coordinated missile strike against Syrian government targets as well as the yet to be resolved US and China trade spat.