* US stock markets’ positive momentum continued, after recording their best five day rally since last October, as earnings reports continue to impress.
* European stock markets rose for a third straight session, after returning from holidays. Healthcare stocks led the gains on the back of M&A activity.
* Asian stock markets fell for a second session, as several markets returned from a holiday weekend.
* Commodities prices edged higher, Gold prices held at $US1,283, while crude-oil held around $US102. Copper rose above the key crucial US3.0c level.
The Australian share market closed higher up another 0.6% at 5479 yesterday, with another steady rise throughout the day, although trading volumes were down. Recent big gainers continued to lead with the chase for yield is still on with majors like the Banks, Telstra, Woolworths and Woodside all at new multi-year highs. The Australian dollar edged higher around the US93.6c level. Remember it is equities options expiry today.
The SPI 200 futures are up 0.4% at 5494, giving another positive lead for the ASX market today as it trades near six year highs. The 5490 level key near-term for the ASX200, as markets traded higher across Europe and rose again in the US overnight.
US stock markets’ positive momentum continued, after recording their best five day rally since last October, as earnings reports continue to impress.
The three benchmark indexes continued steadily higher overnight, powering on towards new record highs. The S&P500 is again trading in the green for the year, after rising 2.7% last week and is less than 1% from its all time highs.
With the over 70 S&P500 stocks that have reported to date over 70% have beaten on profits, while analysts are predicting profits have fallen -0.9% in the first quarter (1Q), while sales are projected to have risen by 2.6%, according to Bloomberg. Recent earnings from Citigroup, Morgan Stanley and Yahoo have all beaten analysts’ forecasts. There are 125 S&P500 stocks reporting by the end of the week.
The main focus continues to be the corporate reporting and the progress on the Ukrainian situation. Trader sentiment has been boosted by recent reassurances from Fed Chair Janet Yellen that the low interest rate environment will persist for the foreseeable future and that the US economic expansion continues in most regions.
For the session Dow Jones closed up 0.4% at 16,514, the S&P500 closed up 0.4% at 1,879 and the NASDAQ closed up 0.9% at 4,161, while on 10-year Treasury notes eased to 2.71%.
European stock markets rose for a third straight session, after returning from holidays. Healthcare stocks led the gains on the back of M&A activity.
The Europe Stoxx 600 rebounded another 1.2% for the session, but trading volumes were down -20% below the monthly average. The index is now up 2.5% for the year, after gaining four of the past five weeks. The healthcare sector surged 2.9%, it’s best performance since June. In M&A activity GlaxoSmithKline has received a bid for its UK business, while there were reports that Pfizer is on the acquisition trail.
Trader sentiment was boosted after a gauge of consumer confidence figures were better than expected. The geopolitical concerns over the Ukraine took a turn, when the US warned Russia that it will face consequences if it fails to take action to restrain the pro-Russian militants in Eastern Ukraine.
The German market surged over 2% for the session on the back of the M&A activity. The London market continued higher for a third session, its longest winning streak in two months.
For the session the German DAX 30 closed up 2.0% at 9,600, the UK the FTSE 100 closed up 0.8% at 6,81, the French CAC 40 closed up 1.2% at 4,484, while the Spanish market close up 1.4% at 10,437.
Asian stock markets fell for a second session, as several markets returned from a holiday weekend.
The MSCI Pacific Index fell -0.2%, paring earlier gains. Across the region the industrial stocks led the falls, as a number of Chinese corporates are being investigated over corruption, while mining stocks were under pressure on the back of lower commodity prices.
The Chinese market found modest support, paring early losses and ahead of factory activity data due out today. Chinese equities prices have been under pressure recently,non concerns upcoming IPOs will drain funds from established company shares.
The Japanese market fell, as traders exhibited caution ahead of some key events, including an Obama-Abe meeting, 160 Japanese companies reporting earnings and Chinese data.
For the session the Shenzhen Composite closed up 0.4% at 2,1896, the Hong Kong Hang Seng closed down -0.1% at 22,730, and the Japanese Nikkei surged down -0.9% at 14,388, while the South Korean KOSPI closed up 0.3% at 2,004.
The Dollar Index held at 79.90 on a lower Euro, and the Aussie Dollar held around four month highs at US93.6c. Commodities prices rose.
Overnight the COMEX WTI Crude for APR13 delivery closed up 0.1% at $US101.90, the COMEX Copper for APR13 delivery closed up 0.1% at 3.033, the COMEX Gold for APR13 delivery closed up 0.1% at $US1,283.
CGF – Challenger says total group assets and funds under management at 31 March 2014 was $49.5 billion, an increase of 21% on year and 1% for the quarter, while Challenger Life annuity sales for the March 2014 quarter increased of 29% on pcp and Retail annuity sales were up 35% on pcp.
FMG – Fortescue Metals Group the Pilbara iron ore miner has boosted its iron ore shipments by 15% in the March quarter and plans to boost production by 35 per cent over the next three months.
ILU – Iluka Resources the mineral sands miner has recorded a -19% drop in production and Q1 revenue down -6.6%.
NAB – Bank of New Zealand’s head of its business bank, Anthony Healy, is to become its new chief executive.
OGC – OceanaGold has suspended production at its open pit mine at the Macraes Goldfield north of Dunedin in NZ after heavy rain caused a section of the west wall to fail.
OSH – Oil Search says its key PNG liquefied natural gas (LNG) project will deliver its first cargo a few months ahead of schedule.
PDN – Paladin Energy the uranium miner, says its revenue has fallen as the price of the nuclear energy source continues to decline.
STO – Santos has increased first quarter sales revenue by 28% on YoY, despite a flat production performance.
WPL – Woodside Petroleum the energy major, has raised its first quarter revenue despite a fall in production.
ASX –open higher
US & UK/Europe – higher
US ADRs – Broadly higher!…
ANZ +1.5%, NAB +0.6%, NWS +1.1%
AWC +0.3%, BHP +0.5%, RIO -0.3%, NEM -0.1%
By Michael Hevern D2MX Investment Advisor For trade ideas and recommendations on how to trade in this market, sign up for a free trial of the D2MX Daily Trading Report, call 1300 610 024 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.