Low start for Asian markets after drops in US and Europe over the weekend

<p>Asian markets are likely to open lower today given Friday’s leads from the US and Europe. The Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 1.05% while the […]</p>

Asian markets are likely to open lower today given Friday’s leads from the US and Europe. The Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 1.05% while the S&P500 was 1.3% lower.

Corporate reporting season ramps up this week and all eyes will be on earnings, particularly the financial and technology sectors. The news will coincide with retail sales which are due out tonight.

Market expectations are for a 0.3% rise in retail sales following a 1.1% jump in February which was the largest in five months. Anything below 0.3% is likely to see the market pull back a little in anticipation of earnings numbers.

In currencies, the Australian dollar will commence trading softly this morning, last buying around 1.0358 against the US dollar. Expectations of a rate cut are firming for next month.

The Euro was also weaker, last trading at 1.30 against the US dollar. The Australian dollar has actually firmed against the Euro over the past few days, now just shy of 0.7920, below its highs earlier this year but up on last week’s lows. The US dollar was last buying 80.90 against the Japanese Yen.

In regional economic news, The Philippines central bank Governor Amando Tetangco said the central bank will gauge the impact of two interest rate cuts this year when it assesses monetary policy at this week’s meeting.

Market expectations are for the benchmark rate to remain at 4% by the end of the week but The Philippines economy slowed unexpectedly in March to a 30 month low, reporting growth of 2.6% so a cut is not completely out of the question.

In New Zealand, house sales in March recorded the best monthly result since November 2007, rising 25.3% compared to the same period last year.

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