* US stock markets have recorded their biggest weekly rise in the past six.
* European markets traded broadly higher on Friday and closed higher for the week.
* Asian stock markets traded mostly lower on Friday, after a downgrade of Spanish credit rating.
* Commodities prices were higher, with Gold prices traded around $US1,663, while crude-oil closed around $US105.
Australian shares are expected to trade higher, and after stocks continued higher overseas. Markets again jumped higher from the open in the European markets and in the US as traders chose to keep their “risk-on” focus. The RBA meets on Tuesday and are expected to increase rates by 25 basis points.
The SPI Futures is trading above the key pivot level of 4320, ended up 0.6% (or 28 points) at 4,397. The key levels for our index this week are 4280 to 4450.
See below for ASX listed companies in the news today.
US stock markets have recorded their biggest weekly rise in the past six.
The Dow Jones Industrial Index and the S&P500 index were up over 1.5% for the week, rising for the past 4-sessions to record their bigest weekly gains since mid-March. The tech-heavy Nasdaq continues to outperform up 2.3% for the week, to record its largest weekly rise in 3-months.
The Dow Jones is looking to record yet another month of gains, which would be its seventh straight monthly advance and its longest winning streak in 5-years. The Consumer Discretionary , Industrails and the Materials sectors all led the gains for the session.
Traders brushed off a downbeat 1Q economic growth report from the Commerce Department’s first reading on gross domestic product (GDP), a broad measure of all the goods and services produced in the economy, which came in lower than expected.
In corporate news Amazon the online retailer surged 16%, after reporting 1Q revenue jumpimg 34% and Expedia soared 24% hitting an all-time high after the online travel agent recorded better-than-forecast 1Q adjusted earnings and revenue.
Thompson Reuters has reported that 57% of the S&P500 companies have reported their 1Q results and of those 287 companies that have reported their earnings 73% have posted better-than-analysts forecast. This is a busy week for economic news with the ISM manufacturing PMI data (a leading indicator) and the monthly Non-Farm Employment report.
All ten company groups that make up the S&P index traded mixed, with the Materials up 0.5% , Energy sector was down -0.1%, Financials sector up 0.1%, Industrials sector was up 0.6%, Technology was down -0.1%, while Consumer Staples were up 1.3%.
The Dow Jones closed up 0.2% (or 24 points) at 13,228, the S&P 500 index up 0.2% (or 3 points) at 1,403, the Nasdaq ended up 0.6% (or 19 points) at 3,069 and the smaller cap Russell 2000 was up 0.9%.
European markets traded broadly higher on Friday and closed higher for the week. The Stoxx Europe 600 rose 0.8% to record its fifth advance in the past six sessions.
Across the region eurozone markets have advanced for a second week, on the back of better-than-expected earnings and despite the politcal uncertainties in France and the Netherlands.
For the week the Stoxx Europe 600 has risen 1.7%, however it is still down -4.9% from its 2012 high, back in March. In the UK the economy has fallen into a double-dip recession, its first since the 1970s. Over 100 of the Stoxx Europe 600 companies reported last week, with only 7% topping estimates, according to Bloomberg.
In London the FTSE 100 index last closed up 0.5% (or 28 points) at 5,777, the German DAX was last up 0.9% (or 61 points) at 6,801 while in France the CAC was last up 1.1% (or 37 points) at 3,266, Spain was up 1.6% and Italy ended up 1.9%.
Asian stock markets traded mostly lower on Friday, after a downgrade of Spanish credit rating.
Asian stocks have been under selling pressure for a second week due to the concerns over the eurozone debt issues and the BoJ disappointing investors.
Across the region the slowing down of the Chinese economy and the eurozone concerns have outweighed the positive corporate reporting in the US. In Japan the Nikkei Stock Index closed down -0.4% after the central bank (BoJ) said it would increase its asset-purchase program, but there are concerns over deflation within the economy.
In China the Shanghai Composite has declined -0.4% for the week and the Hong Kong Hang Seng has fallen -1.3%, as tradrs have shown caution after recent data have shown that the Chinese maufacturing sector has contracted for a sixth straight month.
In China the SSE Composite last closed down -0.3% (or -8 points) at at 2,396, while in Hong Kong the Hang Seng Index last closed down -0.3% (or -68 points) at 20,741 and in Japan the Nikkei 225 Index was closed down -0.4 (or -41 points) at 9,521, South Korean KOSPI was up 0.6% for the session, while the Indian market closed up 0.3%.
The Dollar Index was lower at 78.71 on a higher Euro, while the Australian Dollar last traded lower at 1.0475. Commodities prices traded generally higher.
AGK – The competition watchdog will make its decision on AGL Energy’s bid to take full control of Australia’s largest brown coal power station in May.
AGO – Atlas Iron the WA miner says it remains on track to meet its full year production target of 5.5 to 5.7 million tonnes (Mt).
JBH – JBH Hi-Fi the home entertainment retailer expects its profit to fall in the current financial year as its margins are impacted by heavy discounting.
MQG – Macquarie Group says full year profit has fallen 24 percent as global economic uncertainty results in significantly lower levels of investment activity.
NWS – Newscorp is facing the British media regulator stepping up its probe into whether BSkyB, the pay-TV giant partly owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp, is a “fit and proper” owner of a broadcasting licence.
PMP – PMP the printer, publisher and direct marketer has received a take-over offer worth up to $252 million.
TLS – Telstra, the AFL, and NRL have won an appeal in the Federal Court against an earlier ruling that allowed Optus customers to record and watch football matches on delay.
SPT – Spotless is in a trading halt pending an announcement about its takeover talks with a private equity firm.
STO – The Queensland government says the development of a major LNG plant in Gladstone will lead to improved services and infrastructure for the city.
WES – Coles the supermarket giant has been fined $170,000 and ordered to pay legal costs after a worker fell through a ceiling at store in Sydney five years ago.
Grange Resources Ltd (GRR) March Quarterly Report
Lynas Corporation (LYC) March Activities Report
Origin Energy Ltd (ORG) Quarterly Production Report
Henderson Group (HGG)
ASX – to open higher
US & UK/Europe – higher
Commodities Stock Index up 0.1%
Gold Stocks Index up 1.7%
Oil Stocks Index down -0.1%
US ADRs – Broadly Higher!!…
BHP up 0.8%, RIO up 1.0%; AWC up 1.5%
ANZ up 0.2% & NAB up 0.1%
NEM up 0.6%, JHX up 1.7%, NWS down -0.2%
By Michael Hevern