* US stock markets ended the week higher again, as investors pushed technology stock prices higher, cheering the 3Q results from Google and the better-than-expected retail sales figures.
* European stock markets rose Friday night, as investor concerns about fiscal and financial conditions in the eurozone debt crisis eased.
* Asian stock markets ended mostly lower on Friday, as a modest slowing in Chinese inflation failed to spark a rebound from the fresh concerns over regional economic growth and euro-zone debt.
* Commodities prices traded higher, as Gold prices rose to $US1,681 and while crude-oil closed around $US87.
The SPI Futures is trading around the key pivot level of 4200, ended up 1.1% (or 46 points) at 4,266. The key levels for our index this week are 4350 to 4150.
Friday the Australian share market traded modestly lower, but was up almost 10% from the recent lows. Investors initially followed the weak leads from European and US share markets overnight, but the outstanding quarterly result from Google that came after the US market close, sets the U.S. up for a positive start to the session.
In regional news, China released its annual consumer inflation which fell to 6.1 percent in September. The slight slowdown in inflation was in-line with economists’ forecasts, as food prices rose 13.4 percent in the year to September, while non-food prices rose 2.9 percent. Inflation remains close to the three-year peak of 6.5 percent hit in July, but policy makers are not expected to tighten further in the near-term, as it is expected that inflation will slow down gradually in the coming months. Mining stocks were under pressure today, after a fall in commodity prices overnight, but investors took heart, as the Chinese inflation figures came in-line with expectations and we even saw a rally into the close, a bullish sign ahead of a weekend break. The All Ordinaries (XAO) gave back some of its recent gains today closing down -0.9% at 4269, the S&P/ASX 200 (XJO) closed down -0.9% at 4206.
Aussie investors are expected to push stocks prices higher again today, particularly the energy and mining stocks, following the positive leads from the US and Europe, as investors become more comfortable with the European Commission’s commitment to the proposed bank rescue plan. Chinese CPI data eased.
See below for ASX listed companies in the news today.
US stock markets ended the week higher again, as investors pushed technology stock prices higher, cheering the 3Q results from Google and the better-than-expected retail sales figures.
The three major indices overcame key resistance levels to book their best weekly performance since July 2009. Investor sentiment continued to be supported by positive sentiment from Europe. The S&P 500 jumped 6% for the week, after staging a late climb that took it past the 1220 resistance, which had been a point of key resistance level at the start of the session and earlier in the week.
Energy stocks were the best performers in the session up 4.0% as crude-oil prices piked 3.2% to around $87 per barrel. Crude-oil prices ended the week about 5%.
Retail sales numbers were encouraging with overall retail sales for September increased by 1.1% (forecast up 0.6%), while sales less autos increased by 0.6% (forecast up 0.3%). This marked the strongest increases since the first quarter.
All ten company groups that make up the S&P index traded higher: the Materials were up 2.6%, Energy sector was were up 4.0%, Financials sector was up 1.2%, Industrials were up %, Technology sector was up 1.8% , while the Consumer Staples were up 1.6%.
The Dow Jones closed up 1.5% (or 166 points) at 11,644, the S&P 500 index closed up 1.7% (or 21 points) at 1,225, the Nasdaq ended up 1.8% (or 48 points) at 2,668, and the smaller cap Russell 2000 was up 1.6%.
European stock markets rose Friday night, as investor concerns about fiscal and financial conditions in the eurozone debt crisis eased, as the European Commission leaders committed to developing a workable comprehensive plan intended to stabilize precarious conditions and shore up capital at European banks sent a strong signal to global investors.
Across the region gains were led by gains for miners, technology stocks and car makers, while some banks were lower following a series of recent downgrades and warnings from brokers and credit rating agencies. The Stoxx Europe 600 index rose 0.8%.
The French and German leaders have pledged to come up with a comprehensive plan for ending two years of turmoil by an October 23 summit. The G-20 finance chiefs and central banks heads from the world’s biggest economies meet in Paris on Friday in search for a solution to a deepening crisis that has fanned fears of a global recession. Standard and Poor’s to cut Spain by one notch, although that only brought its rating in line with rival agency Fitch Agency.
Tech stocks rose after strong Google earnings, while mining stocks were also higher as commodity prices rose across the board, helped by a slight softening in Chinese inflation.
In London the FTSE 100 advanced 1.2% (or 63 points) 5,466, and gained over 3% for the week. The German DAX-30 rose 0.9% (or 52 points) at 5,967 on Friday and jumped 5% week for the week, while the French CAC-40 climbed 1.0% (or 63 points) at 3,218 and was up 4% in the week.
Asian stock markets ended mostly lower on Friday, as a modest slowing in Chinese inflation failed to spark a rebound from the fresh concerns over regional economic growth and euro-zone debt. Most global equity markets have risen around 10% this month, but they are running into key resistance levels now.
Sentiment was dampened as Standard & Poor’s downgraded Spain’s long-term sovereign credit rating to AA-minus from AA. Singapore’s central bank has eased monetary policy for the first time in over 2-years.
In Japan the Nikkei Stock Index fell -0.9%, despite Google’s after market strong earnings report, while in China the Shanghai Composite was modestly lower, while in Hong Kong the Hang Seng Index fell over -1%. Growth sensitive metals stocks lost ground around the region, as Chinese September consumer price index (CPI came in slightly lower than expected, rising 6.1% from a year earlier,slower than August’s 6.2% on-year increase, and below the 6.2% expected.
BOQ – Bank of Queensland says annual net profit fell by 14 percent to $158.7 million as it forecast a fall in bad debts for fiscal 2012.
BPT – Beach Energy says its east African venture represents huge gas and oil opportunities after reporting strong drilling results from Egypt.
IBG – Ironbark Zinc the Greenland-focused Australian explorer, has secured $US50 million in financing from Swiss giant and major shareholder Glencore.
GNS – Gunns says a court challenge against timber company’s right to build its controversial Tamar Valley pulp mill will be heard in Launceston.
PNA – PanAust has downgraded its earnings guidance and adjusted its production forecast due to lower copper prices and extreme rainfall at its Phu Kham operation in Laos.
QAN – Qantas flight disruptions are getting worse, as unions including the engineers prepare to walk off the job.
SPT – Spotless refuses to pay cleaners at Melbourne’s Qantas domestic terminal the same as cleaners working for ISS in the Virgin and international terminals.
RIO – RIO Australia’s biggest iron ore producer has set a new quarterly record for sales of the steelmaking commodity, and maintained its 2011 forecast for iron ore production of more than 240 million tonnes.
VBA – The ACCC has indicated it will clear Virgin Australia’s partnership with Singapore Airlines, saying the deal will benefit consumers.
Ansell Ltd (ANN) Full year 2011 AGM�
Fortescue Metals (FMG) September Quarterl Report�
Mount Gibson Iron (MGX) Q1 2012 Activities Report
ASX – to open higher
US & UK/Europe – Higher
Commodities Stock Index up 3.3%
Gold Stocks Index up 3.0%
Oil Stocks Index up 3.6%
US ADRs – Broadly Higher!!…
By Michael Hevern
Head of Research