The local share market is expected to fall slightly this morning, as global markets stalled ahead of some key economic events.
By 7:15am (AEST), ASX futures were down 0.4 per cent.
However, the Australian dollar was steady at 71.53 US cents.
Gold prices are still hovering around their highest values ever, with investors driving up (+0.9pc) the spot price to $US1,959 an ounce overnight.
Australia’s corporate profit reporting season will begin today, with Rio Tinto announcing its half-year results at 4:15pm (AEST), just after the local market close.
Australia tipped for deflation
In local economic news, the Bureau of Statistics will publish its Consumer Price Index (CPI) for the June quarter, a key gauge of inflation.
Economists are expecting consumer prices overall to have fallen by 2 per cent since the previous quarter, its biggest drop ever.
They are also expecting the CPI to have fallen by 0.4 per cent, since last year’s June quarter.
Free childcare, falling petrol prices, cheaper rents, healthcare premium deferrals and travel bans will likely contribute to a steep fall in consumer prices in the June quarter.
Also, the US Federal Reserve will wrap up its two-day policy meeting on Thursday morning (AEST), and markets will be paying close attention to what its chairman Jerome Powell will say about the economic outlook.
On Wall Street, the Dow Jones lost 205 points, or 0.8 per cent, to 26,379.
The S&P 500 fell by 0.7 per cent to 3,218 points.
The Nasdaq dropped by 1.3 per cent to 10,402 as major technology giants weighed on the index.
There were heavy losses for Amazon (-1.8pc), Alphabet (-1.7pc), Facebook (-1.5pc) and Apple (-1.6pc), which are due to report their quarterly earnings this week.
Also weighing on sentiment was the smaller-than-expected $US1 trillion coronavirus aid package unveiled by Senate Republicans.
Enhanced unemployment benefits are due to expire this week for millions of Americans, while Republicans and Democrats have yet to reach an agreement on further stimulus.
In Europe, Germany’s DAX was flat, while Britain’s FTSE gained 0.4 per cent.
Brent crude oil has slipped (-0.4pc) to $US43.24 US dollars a barrel.