ASX to rise ahead of RBA governor's speech on year ahead

The Australian share market is expected to open moderately higher, ahead of a key speech by the Reserve Bank governor on the risks ahead for the economy.

Markets at 8:00am (AEDT):ASX SPI futures +0.3pc at 5,955, ASX 200 (Tuesday’s close) +2pc at 6,006AUD: 72.35 US cents, 55.84 British pence, 63.38 euro cents, 79.51 Japanese yen, $NZ1.05US: Dow Jones +0.7pc at 25,412, S&P 500 +0.5pc at 2,738, Nasdaq +0.7pc at 7,406Europe: FTSE 100 +2pc at 7,177, DAX +1.7pc at 11,368, CAC +1.7pc at 5,083, Euro Stoxx 50 +1.5pc at 3,212Commodities: Brent crude -0.8pc at $US62.02/barrel, spot gold +0.35pc at $US1,315.36/ounce, iron ore flat at $US85.53/tonne

RBA governor Philip Lowe will speak at 12:30pm (AEDT) about “The Year Ahead” at the National Press Club in Sydney.

It is a particularly timely topic given the central bank kept interest rates on hold yesterday, and slightly downgraded its outlook for the economy.

The RBA has for months maintained the next interest rate move is likely to be an increase.

“However, the increased downside risks noted both globally and domestically will likely mean the governor and [Reserve] Bank will be less confident of this statement than was the case a few months ago,” said NAB foreign exchange strategist Rodrigo Catril.

Meanwhile, the Commonwealth Bank this morning announced a half-year cash profit of $4.68 billion, an increase of 1.7 per cent since last year. This is the bank’s preferred measure of income, which strips out one-off gains and losses.

But its statutory net profit, which includes discontinued operations, was slightly lower at $4.6 billion — a 6 per cent fall compared to the previous year.

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