Australian share prices appear headed for a flat start to the trading week but a looming US-China trade deal could change investors’ mood.
The SPI200 futures contract was down 52 points, or 0.76 per cent, to 6817.0 points at 0800 AEDT on Monday after slower-than-expected December US jobs growth prompted Wall Street prices to fall late last week.
US domestic jobs increased by 145,000 last month, below the forecast for a 164,000 rise, but the pace of hiring remained more than enough to keep the longest economic expansion in history on track.
A US-China trade deal, expected to be signed on January 15, is likely to lift prices.
The Australian share market will resume trading after its best week in nearly a year.
The 186.7-point, 2.72 per cent gains for the week were the ASX’s strongest weekly gains since a 200.8-point surge for the week ending February 8, 2019.
Bell Direct market analyst Jessica Amir credited the pending US-China deal and a trifecta of better than expected Australian economic data for the gains last week.
Housing approvals and retail sales figures for November beat expectations, while the trade balance swelled more than expected.
The Australian dollar was buying 68.98 US cents, up from 68.79 US cents at Friday’s close.