[email protected]: ASX set for soft start to week

2. US jobs numbers disappoint: There was good reason for Wall Street’s tepid day’s trade on Friday, too. US Non-Farm Payrolls data was released, and revealed what was probably, on balance, a soft set of numbers. They weren’t diabolically poor, by any means. There were no grave proclamations that a US recession is imminent by the punditry after the release.

Irrespective, with a jobs-change number at roughly 130k, against a 160k forecast, the NFPs affirmed in a small way that the US economy ain’t quite as strong as it used to be. US Yields dropped with the Dollar, while stock markets teetered, as investors opted to briefly step-away from the recent risk-on rally.

3. US Fed Chair reassures markets: Perhaps some of the reason why the reaction to the weak NFPs was rather muted owed to US Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s speech on Friday night. Slowly but surely – and this is arguably by design – Chair Powell and the Fed are demonstrating their openness to embarking on a relatively prolonged interest rate cutting cycle.

The key takeaway from this speech: Chair Powell asserted the Fed will act to ensure the US economic expansion continues. Given the weakening fundamental outlook for the US and global economy, markets have interpreted that as meaning another rate cut is coming this month, with market pricing giving it a 95 per cent chance.

4. EBC expected to join Fed in easing rates: Beyond the Fed, and trade-war hopes aside, markets are still betting-big on major monetary policy stimulus from central bankers right across the globe. Ultimately, as headwinds from a slowing business cycle and trade-war grow stronger, it’s this hope of monetary policy stimulus that’s keeping global markets afloat.

The ECB is will be the centre of attention in the week ahead. It meets

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