The Australian share market is set for a flat start to the week before attention shifts to an expected lift in employment figures.
US stocks ended flat on Friday after a weaker-than-expected jobs report and US missile strikes in Syria in response to a deadly chemical weapons attack, with the Dow Jones industrial average down 0.03 per cent.
That signals a flat start to local trading on Monday.
AMP Capital chief economist Shane Oliver said the US missile strikes against Syria caused a bit of uncertainty in financial markets but it looks to have been short-lived, as has been the case in the past in response to limited military strikes and most terrorist attacks.
“This is likely to remain the case as the strike was highly targeted and proportional to the chemical attack and does not signal increased US involvement in Syria,” Dr Oliver said.
Thursday’s jobs data will be the main focus for Australian investors.
The market forecast is for a rise of 20,000 jobs in March and the unemployment rate remaining at 5.9 per cent.
Monday’s housing finance data for February will also be of interest, with the market forecast for a flat result.
Commonwealth Bank economist Kristina Clifton said conditions in the housing market remain in focus following the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority’s decision to implement additional measures to slow the growth of interest-only loans and loans with high loan to valuation ratios.
The Reserve Bank of Australia is concerned soaring housing prices are pushing up the level of household debt relative to incomes.
Ms Clifton said the RBA will elaborate further on its views on housing in its financial stability review on Thursday.
Westpac, which expects a one per cent dip in owner occupier loans, said the value of investor loans could remain strong in February as lenders moved to increase investor loan rates in March and APRA’s harder line on macro prudential measures was announced in April.