Australian shares are set for a sluggish start to the week following reports US President Donald Trump has called for fresh tariffs on Chinese products.
The news took the shine off US markets on Friday, which closed flattish after a sharp dip when the story broke around midday.
AMP Capital’s chief economist Shane Oliver said any tariffs that are imposed won’t directly impact local markets, but all eyes will remain on the US next week to see if Mr Trump carries through.
‘We probably would have been stronger tomorrow were it not for talk of Trump wanting to go ahead with the extra tariffs,’ he told AAP on Sunday.
Dr Oliver has tipped the Australian share market to open with the slightest of gains at around five or six points up.
On Tuesday, the release of the Reserve Bank’s last meeting’s minutes is expected to show the monetary authority remains optimistic about the local economy, with no urgency to move on interest rates.
However, homeowners and investors may not be so happy when the Australia Bureau of Statistics releases house price data for June on the same day.
Dr Oliver says it’s set to show yet another fall – around one per cent, led by Sydney and Melbourne.
Meanwhile, population figures to be released on Thursday are expected to show strong growth, according to Dr Oliver, and may add fuel to the immigration debate.
‘We’ll probably see Queensland continuing to benefit there relative to NSW,’ he said.
Internationally, most interest will remain focused on the trade war between China and the US.
Locally, the skirmish will also impact the Australian dollar, which looks likely to suffer as the greenback strengthens on the back of Mr Trump’s tariff threats.
‘In the short term it depends on what happens with trade, if those tariffs are announced it’ll go down and head towards 70 cents,’ Dr Oliver said.
On Friday, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index closed 36.6 points higher at 6,165.3 points, while the broader All Ordinaries index was up 36.4 points at 6,276.3 points.