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  • Australian shares under pressure on Wednesday, ASX 200 Index consolidating.
  • ASX 200 Index finding a base following the Retail Sales data.
  • Commodities markets are mixed, financials are weighing. 

 Australian shares have dipped in trade on Tuesday, having started out the day on the backfoot and extending losses into the time of writing. ASX 200 Index is trading at 5,361, -0.85% on the day so far, finding a base following the Retail Sales data. 

Firstly, Australian retail turnover rose 8.5 per cent in March 2020, seasonally adjusted, according to the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) Retail Trade figures. This follows a rise of 0.6 per cent in February 2020. 

  • Australian March Retail Sales: +8.5% vs +8.2% expected

Financials weighing

Meanwhile, following a last-minute sell-off on Wall Street, the souring mood rolled over into early Asian markets, We had a slide in USD/JPY and early predictions for a negative start for the ASX 200. Right from the off, banks were heavy with the big four sliding. ANZ was lower by 24 cents, or 1.46 per cent, at $16.21 and Commonwealth Bank lost 78 cents, or 1.28 per cent, to $60.07. NAB shed 22 cents, or 1.29 per cent, to $16.77, while Westpac lost 23 cents, or 1.42 per cent, to $15.97.

Commodities mixed

Elsewhere, energy stocks are on the rise with a comeback in the price of oil. ICE Brent was breaking above US$30/bbl yesterday and WTI was having a look in at the $28 handle.

On the flip side, we could also start to see some supply in industrial metals with the Peruvian government announcing its plans to ease restrictions for its mining sector in May, allowing it to restart some operations.

However, to the contrary, it is noted that China’s bonded warehouse inventory of copper has dropped from around 339kt at the end of March to 296kt at the end of April, reflecting improved demand in the local market.

“Pfizer administered to the first US patients its experimental vaccine, as it tries to reduce the time it takes to develop a new inoculation. This saw copper prices rise 0.7% to settle above USD5100/t,” analysts at ANZ bank explained. 

ASX 200 Index’s 38.2% Fibo is a key resistance 

The  38.2% Fibonacci level (5470) acts as a key resistance barrier. The index has been trading between there and the 23.6% Fibo since the end of March. The bears will be looking for an extension below the COVID-19 lows of 4402. However, on a break higher will extend towards a 50% mean reversion at 5794 ahead of a 61.8% golden ration at 6127.