Thursday: 22st February 2018

OPENING CALL: The Australian market looks to open higher with SPI Futures up 2 points.

The Australian market on Wednesday closed flat, inching just inside positive territory, as well received financial results from Wesfarmers and The A2 Milk Company were countered by steep falls by heavyweight miners.
US stocks have advanced, with the Dow and S&P 500 on track for their seventh gain in eight sessions, buoyed by stocks in economically sensitive areas such as industrials and technology.

Overnight Summary


Market Quotes by TradingView

Each Market In Focus

Australian Market

The Australian market on Wednesday closed flat, inching just inside positive territory, as well received financial results from Wesfarmers and The A2 Milk Company were countered by steep falls by heavyweight miners.
At 0700 AEDT on Thursday, the share price futures index was up 2 points, or 0.03 per cent, at 5,916.
No major economic news is expected on Thursday.
In equities news, Qantas, Flight Centre, Nine Entertainment, Crown Resorts, Blackmores, Westfield Corporation, Ingham’s and Mortgage Choice are among the companies expected to report results on Thursday while Aristocrat Leisure is scheduled to hold its annual general meeting.
The Australian market on Wednesday closed flat, inching just inside positive territory, as well received financial results from Wesfarmers and The A2 Milk Company were countered by steep falls by heavyweight miners.
The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index rose 2.8 points, or 0.05 per cent, to 5,943.7 while the broader All Ordinaries index gained 1.7 points, or 0.03 per cent, at 6,047.3 points.

US Markets

US stocks have advanced, with the Dow and S&P 500 on track for their seventh gain in eight sessions, buoyed by stocks in economically sensitive areas such as industrials and technology.
After the Federal Reserve left interest rates unchanged in January, minutes of that meeting released on Wednesday show that the central bank’s rate-setting committee grew more confident in the need to keep raising rates, with most believing that inflation would perk up.
Expectations for a quarter-point hike at the Fed’s next meeting, in March, are currently 93.5 per cent, according to Thomson Reuters data. The central bank has forecast three rate hikes in 2018.
Since inflation worries knocked the S&P 500 down more than 10 per cent from its January 26 high, stocks have rebounded in recent sessions as yields on the 10-year US Treasury note have stabilised around the 2.9 per cent mark.
As inflation concerns have ebbed, names likely to benefit from synchronised global growth have come into favour. Industrials, up 1.45 per cent, have been the best performing on the 11 major S&P sectors on Wednesday. Materials stocks climbed 1.13 per cent.

Commodities

Gold prices held their gains in aftermarket trading Wednesday after minutes from the Federal Reserve’s latest meeting gave little indication that the central bank planned to raise rates at a faster pace.
IRON ORE: $77.85 +0.54(March contract)

Oil Futures

Oil prices were mixed Wednesday as the U.S. dollar rallied and investors anticipated data expected to show another increase in U.S. crude output.
U.S. crude futures snapped a four-session streak of gains, settling down 11 cents, or 0.18%, to $61.68 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent, the global benchmark, gained 17 cents, or 0.26%, to $65.42 a barrel on ICE Futures Europe.

Forex

The U.S. dollar erased its earlier gains in a knee-jerk reaction to the Federal Reserve’s January meeting minutes, but soon regained lost ground and rallied as U.S. Treasury yields moved higher.
The ICE U.S. Dollar Index , which measures the buck against a basket of six rivals, climbed 0.4%, adding on from its Tuesday gains. The broader WSJ U.S. Dollar Index meanwhile ticked up 0.4%.
The British pound was one of the weakest performers among the buck’s main rivals early on in the session following economic data that came in below expectations. The pound last bought $1.3919, compared with $1.3997 late Tuesday.
Australian dollar:
The Australian dollar is little changed against its US counterpart which has again risen helped by buoyant short-term US Treasury yields.
At 0635 AEDT on Thursday, the Australian dollar was worth 78.50 US cents, from 78.52 on Wednesday.

European Markets

European shares have closed in positive territory on Wednesday, recouping earlier losses as Wall Street opened higher and upbeat earnings published by Lloyds and Glencore gave a boost to financial stocks and miners.
New business activity data from the euro area eased concerns that ultra-easy monetary policy in the bloc could end sooner rather than later.
Europe’s pan-European STOXX 600 index closed up 0.16 per cent at 381.1 points but some bourses on the continent ended the day slightly in the red, like Germany’s DAX which closed 0.14 per cent lower at 12,470.49.
Britain’s FTSE outperformed its European peers with a near half a per cent rise, with heavyweight Glencore up 5.2 per cent following a set of full-year results described as the miner’s “strongest on record”.

Asian Markets

The key Asian markets that were trading following Lunar New Year holidays rose.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan gained 0.7 per cent after slipping earlier in the session following the US market losses, which snapped a six-session winning streak.
Japan’s Nikkei trimmed earlier gains but still ended the day 0.21 per cent higher at 21,970.81.
And, Hong Kong’s benchmark Hang Seng index rose 1.81 per cent to finish at 31,431.89.
Chinese financial markets are due to resume trading on Thursday after being shut for the past week for the Lunar New Year.
The S&P/NZX 50 Index rose 1.26 per cent, to 8,200.27.

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