ASX set to shy away from record levels despite lift on Wall Street

 smh.com.au  07/14/2019 03:25:18 

"That presents a risk to the US rally at the moment," Mr Felsman said.

"At the same time, the iron ore price was down on Friday... so that has a big influence on the [ASX] materials sector."

Weaker Chinese growth may not be a good outcome for Australia.

CommSec's Ryan Felsman

Meanwhile China trade data released on Friday showed exports fell 1.3 per cent and imports fell 7.3 per cent in June.

That showed Australias biggest trading partner "struggling to get a firm footing" after the end of stimulus measures, Mr Felsman said, noting the US imposed more tariffs in May.

Chinas National Bureau of Statistics will release its second-quarter GDP growth figures on Monday, which is tipped to come in at an almost 30 year-low of 6.2 per cent.

"Weaker Chinese growth may not be a good outcome for Australia," Mr Felsman said.

"But what it could potentially mean though is theres more stimulus down the track from the Chinese which would be good for us."

In Australia, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index on Friday closed down 19.6 points, or 0.29 per cent, to 6,696.5 points. The broader All Ordinaries was down 17 points, or 0.25 per cent, to 6,788.8.

Both indices have performed sluggishly in recent sessions after flirting with all-time record levels earlier this month.

The ASX 200 needs to lift 2.3 per cent to top its all-time high of 6851.5 while the All Ordinaries needs to jump 1.25 per cent to get past the same milestone set at 6788.

AMP Capital's chief economist Shane Oliver said he expected the ASX to open closer to 10 or 20 points lower, rather than the 30 points futures markets pointed to.

The Fed chief stressed at his second day of congressional testimony that the US economy is "in a very good place".

The Fed chief stressed at his second day of congressional testimony that the US economy is "in a very good place".Credit:AP

The US Federal Reserve is expected to cut interest rates for the first time in a decade, so all ears will be on a speech by its chair Jerome Powell on Tuesday, Dr Oliver said.

The speech follows dovish testimony he gave over two days to congress late last week where he signalled an intention to cut.

"He'll probably confirm that the Fed will cut interest rates in the weeks ahead," he said.

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"Australia started cutting first and now looks like America will be cutting after a period of raising interest rates in 2015," he said, noting Europe will likely follow suit.

Looking further ahead the minutes of the RBA's most recent meeting will be released on Tuesday and will likely echo Governor Philip Lowe's recent remarks that the outlook remains "reasonable" with further easing depending on the data.

"At the time being the RBA is quite happy to sit back and see how things unfold," Dr Oliver said, noting AMP predicts another rate cut in November.

On Thursday, June's labour force survey will be released, with the unemployment rate predicted to hold at 5.2 per cent alongside 10-20,000 employment growth.

"Those figures will be looked at quite closely. If unemployment doesn't come down much then it's consistent with the Reserve Bank having to do more in terms of cutting interest rates," Dr Oliver said.

The market is also keenly awaiting the latest economic growth data from China and retail sales data from the US.

-with AAP

Patrick Hatch

Reporter for The Age

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