Asia Pacific investors are looking for a positive finish today to a strong month. Vaccine optimism and ongoing support from central banks and governments are driving growth exposed assets higher, and data and events due this week could back an optimistic outlook for 2021.
The global highlights for traders include the release of China PMIs ahead of Friday’s US non-farm payrolls. China kicks off with its official manufacturing PMI today, forecast at 51.5. Reads on services and the privately calculated Caixin series drop over the remainder of the week. These month on month reads are all expected to show expansion across the Chinese economy. US payrolls are expected to expand by 500,000 jobs, bring the unemployment rate down to 6.8%. The strength in trading may mean markets are more vulnerable to positive surprise on these key economic indicators.
Commodity currencies are trading higher this morning, but the British pound is taking an early lead ahead of a further Brexit negotiations. A decision is due this week. The strength of sterling suggests forex markets are comfortable with a “no deal” withdrawal from the European Union, both the currency could still experience higher volatility this week.
OPEC+ meets this week to consider a further extension of production cuts. The group had previously planned to reduce the constraints at the end of this year. The vaccine inspired optimism that is lifting growth markets has shifted analysts’ focus toward the demand picture, but the results of the meetings on Monday and Tuesday remain a potential driver of energy prices.
Australian investors will hear from the Reserve Bank of Australia on Tuesday, ahead of Wednesday’s release of third quarter GDP. Analysts expect no change in monetary policy settings, but there is less consensus about how much the Australian economy expanded. Forecasts average around a 2.4% lift, but the higher uncertainty increase the chances of a dramatic market reaction.
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