ASX set to open higher on dovish RBA policy meeting minutes

Stock Markets

Australian shares are set to open higher today as Wall Street extended its’ rally overnight. Shares on Wall Street saw modest gains after President Trump made positive comments regarding the US/China trade talks and reinforced his willingness to extend next month’s deadline on planned tariff hikes, thus reassuring investors that the talks between US and Chinese officials are going well.

Minutes from the RBA’s February policy meeting showed that the board members held an extended discussion about the economic fallout spurring from an ongoing property market decline. The bank expressed concerns for higher unemployment and lower inflation if housing prices fell much further. The meeting minutes were perceived as being dovish for interest rates, causing the AUD to dip to US71.21¢ before paring most losses.  

Wall Street’s main benchmarks closed with modest gains overnight, with the Dow Jones, S&P 500, and NASDAQ 100 gaining 8.07 (+0.03%), 4.16 (+0.15%) and 11.43 (+0.16%) points respectively.

ASX 200 futures are currently up 11.0 points. 

Today’s data releases: WBC leading index January, Wage price index fourth quarter; NZ fourth quarter PPI, Fed January meeting minutes

Commodities and Currencies

Brent crude prices steadied on Tuesday, falling 0.02% to US$66.49 as concerns about global crude oil demand countered investor optimism around tightening supplies.

Iron ore prices were flat overnight, sitting at US$84.10 per tonne.

The spot price of gold was up 1.03% overnight and is now hovering around US$1340.57.

The AUD is currently up 0.46% at US71.64.

This article was written by Mithun Fernando – Investment Analyst, Rivkin Securities Pty Ltd. Enquiries can be made via mithun.fernando@rivkin.com.au or by phoning +612 8302 3633.