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Citizenship drama may weaken Aust shares

by
November 12, 2017

The Turnbull government's citizenship woes may impact the opening of Australia's financial markets.

The citizenship saga engulfing the federal parliament may drag the local share market lower at Monday's open, despite a flat lead from Wall Street.

The US market was barely changed on Friday, with the S&P 500 closing 0.1 per cent down, suggesting a flat start to Australian trade this week.

However, AMP Capital chief economist Shane Oliver says citizenship developments on the weekend - such as the resignation of Liberal MP John Alexander due to dual-citizenship - may mean local shares fall slightly instead.

"You can't rule out a bit more of a fall because of the increase in political uncertainties in Canberra," he told AAP.

"It's probably the main risk at the open tomorrow, because we're now getting close to the point where the government might lose its majority in parliament."

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) will release the wage price index for the September quarter on Wednesday, and October jobs data on Thursday.

There could be good news on the wages front, Dr Oliver said, with 0.7 per cent growth expected for the quarter - bringing year-on-year growth to 2.2 per cent - after the national minimum wage rose by 3.3 per cent from July 1.

On the jobs front, Dr Oliver said the consensus forecast is for jobs to have risen by 18,000 in October, with the unemployment rate remaining at 5.5 per cent.

Local investors are also anticipating the release of monthly business confidence data on Tuesday and consumer confidence data on Wednesday.

Internationally, US retail sales figures and inflation data will come out on Wednesday and Chinese economic activity data on Tuesday.

The Australian share market closed lower on Friday, with the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index down 0.33 per cent to 6,029.4 points.

However that index, which passed through the 6,000 point market on Tuesday, finished 1.2 per cent higher for the week.

The Australian dollar was trading at 76.87 US cents.

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