It’s been a quiet session overnight. Oil rallied as supply fears rose on Trump’s sanctions imposed on the country this week, but it has since retreated.

The positive news regarding China has seen stocks rise in the US today but there has been little movement on Treasuries or the US dollar.

Steven Mnuchin says the trade war with China is on-hold, for now, after the agreement that will see China supposedly buying more from the US, but not the reported extra $200 billion worth.

In Italy, the populist parties aiming for a coalition Italian government are said to be demanding a €250bn debt write down by the ECB.

The continuing rise in oil prices and rising bond yields in the US – where they have tipped the 3% yield mark again.

It was a subdued end to last week for markets, oil still high in the aftermath of Trump reimposing sanctions on Iran. The housing sector is our special topic for this Weekly.

Trump seems to be offering a lifeline to Chinese telecoms company ZTE, whilst threatening car manufacturers with a 20 percent import tariff.

2018 has been exceptionally dry across much of Australia, with knock-on downside to restocker interest and young cattle prices.

The NAB Rural Commodities Index gained 3.0% month on month in March, its second consecutive rise.

The NAB Rural Commodities Index gained 1.2% month on month in February, following a drop of 1.8% in January. On a year on year basis, the index was down 2.9% in February. The gain was driven by higher grain, fruit and dairy prices, offsetting falls in beef, lamb and sugar.

The economy looks to have performed solidly in Q4, despite a large subtraction from net exports.

Stability in financial markets over 2017 and early 2018 came to abrupt end in recent weeks, with a surge in market volatility and big falls in equity markets and prices for many commodities.

2018 has seen a fairly mixed start to the year, with significant differences between regions and industries.

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