* US stock markets continued their rebounded overnight, after the Fed said interest rates will remain low for the foreseeable future .
* European stock markets surged late in the trading session, as investor sentiment was boosted by gains in the US markets.
* Asian stock markets ended mostly higher yesterday, and are expected to continue higher today.
* Commodities prices were higher, with Gold prices traded around $US1,679, while crude-oil closed around $US103.
Australian shares are expected to continue higher today, after stocks surged higher in overseas markets. All eyes will be on the Chinese GDP figures due out today, get set for a surge in our miners if the figure surprises to the upside. Markets continued their rebound after over 5-days of selling as markets traded higher in the European markets and in the US.
The SPI Futures is trading above the key pivot level of 4250, ended up 0.6% (or 27 points) at 4,322. The key levels for our index today are 4280 to 4350.
See below for ASX listed companies in the news today.
Economics News Today
* Chinese GDP Figures.
All ten company groups that make up the S&P index traded higher, with the Materials up 2.7% , Energy sector was up 2.2%, Financials sector up 1.9%, Industrials sector was up 2.1%, Technology was up 1.2%, while Consumer Staples were up 1.3%.
The Dow Jones closed up 1.4% (or 181 points) at 12,986, the S&P 500 index up 1.4% (or 18 points) at 1,387, the Nasdaq ended up 1.3% (or 39 points) at 3,055 and the smaller cap Russell 2000 was up 1.5%.
European stock markets surged late in the trading session, as investor sentiment was boosted by gains in the US markets. The Stoxx Europe 600 index closed 1.2%. All three of the major indexes in London,Germany and France all closed up over 1% for the session.
Across the region the PIIGS economy banks eased after a heavily discounted rights issue from Portugal’s Banco Espirito Santo SA. However banking majors out of the UK and Germany continued higher, and in a “risk-on” move, the miners took up the baton and pushed higher, as news out of the US that their interest rates would remain low for the foreseeable future. In economic news, data for the eurozone showed industrial production beat estimates rising 0.5% in February, but fell 1.8% on an annual basis.
In London the FTSE 100 index last closed up 1.3% (or 75 points) at 5,710, the German DAX was last up 1.0% (or 68 points) at 6,743 while in France the CAC was last up 1.0% (or 32 points) at 3,270, Spain was down -0.7% and Italy ended up 1.2%.
Asian stock markets ended mostly higher yesterday, and are expected to continue higher today.
All eyes will be on the Chinese GDP figures due out today, if we see the number beat the 8.4% growth forecast this will boost the materials sectors which has been sold-down heavily in the past month.
The Chinese Shanghai Composite again jumped 1.8%, and in Hong Kong the market closed higher and even in Japan the market is attempting to find support after its recent sell-off. The gains came despite the World Bank trimming its growth forecast for China, as slowing growth may mean a greater possibility of more stimulus measures.
The South Korean Kospi bucked the trend down -0.5%, a day after the South Korean conservative ruling party secured a majority in the parliamentary elections, which should provide policy stability in the country. A planned rocket launch in neighbouring North Korea was also closely watched.
In China the SSE Composite last closed up 1.8% (or 42 points) at 2,350, while in Hong Kong the Hang Seng Index last closed up 0.9% (or 186 points) at 20,370 and in Japan the Nikkei 225 Index was closed up 0.7% (or 66 points) at 9,458, South Korean KOSPI was down -0.5% for the session, while the Indian market closed up 0.8%.
The Dollar Index was lower at 79.35 on a higher Euro, while the Australian Dollar last traded higher at 1.0434. Commodities prices traded generally higher.
For the session the Benchmark crude NYMEX for April delivery was flat (or $US00.05) settled at $US103.68. Copper prices are backing off key resistance level as Copper for April delivery was up 2.1% (or 7.0 cents) at $US3.7140. April gold was up 1.0% (or $US16.50) at $US1,679.
BHP – The BHP-Mitsubishi Alliance has closed the Norwich Park mine. CFMEU spokesman Stephen Smyth rejected any link between the recent strike action and the mine’s closure, and will push ahead with a fresh round of strikes at seven BHP-Mitsubishi Alliance mines.
FMS – Flinders Mines share are in a trading halt pending the outcome of court action aimed at preventing the iron ore explorer’s $554 million takeover by a Russian steel maker.
PNA – PanAust the Laos-focussed miner, has reaffirmed its 2012 production targets after exceeding its expectations at its flagship copper mine in the March quarter. PanAust said the Phu Kham mine produced 15,772 tonnes of copper concentrate in the first quarter of calendar 2012 at a cash cost of 92 US cents per pound, exceeding the company’s budget expectations. PanAust will complete a mine upgrade in the June quarter of 2012.
PMV – Billionaire retailer Solomon Lew has asked a court to restrict media coverage of a bitter legal stoush over tens of millions held in a $621 million family trust fund.
RIO – Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton are set to report lower-than-expected iron ore output for the March quarter after heavy rains and cyclones disrupted port and mining operations in Australia. RIO report on next Monday.
SVW – Seven Group’s heavy machinery company Westrac has bought the local arm of US mining parts and services business Bucyrus for $389 million. WesTrac, the Caterpillar heavy machinery dealer in NSW, the ACT, and WA, will take on Bucyrus’ business in those states as a result of the deal with Caterpillar.
WOR – WorleyParsons the engineering firm, has won a contract for work on Exxon Mobil’s Hebron oil and gas development off the Canadian coast.
WPL – Woodside Petroleum-led JV with BHP that is aiming to build a $30 billion gas hub in the Kimberley has been given more time to make a final investment decision on the project.
Soul Pattinson (SOL)
ASX – to open higher
US & UK/Europe – higher
Commodities Stock Index up 0.1%
Gold Stocks Index down -1.3%
Oil Stocks Index down –0.2%
US ADRs – Broadly Higher!!…
By Michael Hevern