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Australian market to start a touch down

Marnie Banger
Continuing uncertainty around US-China trade war is expected to weigh on Australian shares

The Australian share market is expected to start the week a little lower, as investors cautiously brace for the outcome of this week's US Federal Reserve meeting.

Uncertainty around the trade war between the United States and China will be another reason they will be wary when trading resumes.

"There are a few uncertainties which are in the mix at the moment," CommSec chief economist Craig James told AAP on Sunday.

Futures suggest the benchmark ASX200 will lose a modest seven points at open on Monday, or 0.2 per cent.

That comes on the back of a mixed day on Wall Street on Friday.

Most of the major US stock indexes ended lower, as losses for technology shares offset gains by big banks.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 37.07 points, or 0.1 per cent, to 27,219.52, but the S&P 500 index slipped 2.18 points, or 0.1 per cent, to 3,007.39.

Investors across the world will be watching as the US Federal Reserve meets on Tuesday and Wednesday this week, with news of their latest decision on interest rates set to hit Australia on Thursday morning.

Economists are expecting the central bank to cut the rate by 0.25 per cent.

The US and China trade war remains a source of uncertainty, though there is fresh hope for a solution, with US President Donald Trump signalling he is potentially open to an interim trade deal.

China also revealed on Friday it would exempt some US pork and soybeans from extra tariffs on US goods.

"There's a bit of optimism there," Mr James said.

Closer to home, the Reserve Bank of Australia will release minutes from its September board meeting on Tuesday.

But the big event will be the Australian Bureau of Statistics releasing employment figures for August on Thursday.

Economists are expecting 15,000 jobs to have been created in the month, keeping the unemployment rate steady at 5.2 per cent for the fifth consecutive month.

An extra 41,000 jobs in July had failed to budge the rate.

The Australian market closed slightly higher on Friday, rising for a third straight day as gains by banking and industrial stocks outweighed losses by tech companies and energy producers.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index finished Friday up 14.3 points, or 0.21 per cent, to 6,669.2 points, while the broader All Ordinaries was up 11.4 points to 6,777.1 points.

For the week the ASX finished up 21.9 points, its fourth straight week of gains.