The market in the week ahead

Despite the noise and fear about a trade war following Donald Trump’s announcement of tariff hikes, and despite the uncertainty surrounding the messy election result in Italy, markets generally held their own.

This was helped by Canada and Mexico being exempted from the tariff hikes conditionally on reaching a new NAFTA agreement and there’s scope for other allies to be exempted too on the basis of national security.

Added to that was the announcement over the weekend from Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and US president Donald Trump confirming that Australia will be exempt from the steel and aluminium tariffs.

Wall Street closed higher on Friday with the Dow Jones closing 1.77 per cent higher, the S&P 500 gaining 1.174 per cent and the Nasdaq jumping 1.79 per cent on the US added 313,000 new jobs in February, well above estimates. 

The Australian stock market finished a week of simmering tensions 0.6 per cent with the S&P/ASX 200 closing on Friday at 5963.2 points, a rise of 0.3 per cent.

The ASX futures are up 1 per cent, pointing to a positive start on Monday, taking it above the 6000 mark.

Australian investors will be keenly awaiting the results of the NAB business survey on Tuesday. 

On the same day, the Australian Bureau of Statistics will be releasing its housing finance figures. 

Consumer confidence figures will be released on Wednesday. 

And during the week, there will be speeches from RBA officials Bullock, Kent and Debelle. Investors will be watching closely for any indication of rates. 

Added to that is the interest around the South Australian state election and the federal by-election for the inner-Melbourne seat of Batman will take place this coming weekend.

An award winning author and journalist, commentator, lecturer, and speaker, Leon is a freelance business journalist who covers a range of areas including politics, strategy, globalization, leadership and all the big trends ahead. His main skill is summing up all the news that’s around. For the last 30 years, his main focus has been on management issues. He also produces two podcasts for RMIT University, Talking Business and Talking Technology. Leon has worked for Fairfax, News Limited, AAP and the Herald and Weekly Times.

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