The Australian share market is set to open slightly lower, taking weak leads from Wall Street, which was dragged down by an Apple share price tumble.
New company data confirming a slowing worldwide appetite for iPhones saw the tech giant suffer its worse day on Wall Street in four years on Friday.
AMP Capital’s chief economist Shane Oliver said Apple’s price plunge, and the subsequent impact on the US markets, would be felt locally.
‘It will probably be quite a soft start because Wall Street came down a bit on Friday,’ Dr Oliver told AAP on Sunday.
The Australian futures index is predicting the market will open around five points lower, giving up any modest gains the ASX made on Friday.
Dr Oliver said the Reserve Bank of Australia would release some key data on Tuesday, though no one was anticipating an interest rate rise.
‘The main focus on that for the markets will be what the Reserve Bank says about inflation and wages and falling house prices and the tightening in bank lending,’ he said.
‘The reserve bank will yet again express a bit of optimism about the outlook but will leave interest rates on hold.’
China is also expected to release trading data during the week.
Meanwhile, an address on foreign policy and trade in the Asian-Pacific by Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Friday was described as ‘benign’ by Dr Oliver.
Mr Morrison was careful to tiptoe around ongoing tensions between China and the US, and said he would be working to ensure Australia balanced its relationship with both nations.
‘I thought it was pretty benign, and it is a balancing act that Australia faces,’ Dr Oliver said.
‘That’s going to be a difficult challenge in the years ahead because of the tensions between US and China.’