* US stock markets jumped higher from the open overnight, after positive earnings reports and successful bond auctions in the eurozone.
* European stock markets surged overnight, for their best session in 4 weeks, as traders cheered the successful completion of Spanish debt auctions, and bargain hunters stepped in.
* Asian stock markets ended mostly lower yesterday, due to ongoing concerns over eurozone debt issues, but expect a rebound today.
* Commodities prices were higher, with Gold prices around $US1,650, while crude-oil closed around $US104.
Australian shares are expected to see some recovery today, after stocks jumped after the IMF upgrades to global growth projections. Markets turned around overnight in Europe and in the US.
The SPI Futures is trading above the key pivot level of 4250, ending up 1.2% (or 51 points) at 4,342. The key levels for our index today are 4280 to 4350.
See below for ASX listed companies in the news today.
US stock markets jumped higher from the open overnight, recording their biggest gain in 4 weeks, after positive earnings reports and successful bond auctions in the eurozone.
The three major indexes all closed over 1.5% higher for the session, with all 30 of the Dow Jones components pushing higher and all 10 of the S&P 500 sectors closing higher led by technology, closely followed by industrials.
Traders cheered the news that the IMF raised its outlook for global economic growth to 3.5% for the year, but urged stronger measures to deal with the eurozone debt crisis. However in economic news, data showed home construction fell for a second straight month in March, while the number of new-housing permits rose to its highest level since September 2008, while industrial production was flat for the second straight month in March, indicating that a key engine of the US economic growth is stalling.
In corporate news Coca-Cola shares reached a 14-year high, after reporting first-quarter earnings and revenue that beat expectations, while Johnson & Johnson rose 0.4% after the health-care conglomerate reported first-quarter earnings that beat forecasts. Goldman Sachs fell -0.7% despite beating profit expectations in its first-quarter report, and IBM rose 2.3%, but fell in after-hours trading after posting a 7.1% rise in first-quarter earnings.
All ten company groups that make up the S&P index traded higher, with Materials up 1.4%, Energy up 1.6%, Financials up 1.3%, Industrials up 1.7%, Technology up 2.2%, while Consumer Staples were up 1.2%.
The Dow Jones closed up 1.5% (or 194 points) at 13,115, the S&P 500 index up 1.6% (or 21 points) at 1,390, the Nasdaq ended up 1.8% (or 54 points) at 3,042 and the smaller cap Russell 2000 was up 1.6%.
European stock markets surged overnight, for their best session in 4 weeks, as traders cheered the successful completion of Spanish debt auctions, and bargain hunters stepped in. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index surged 2%.
Trader sentiment was boosted by the news that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) raised its forecast for global economic growth in 2012 and 2013, citing improved financial conditions and unwinding of the financial crisis. Although the IMF did warn that the recovery remains fragile and that another acute crisis in the eurozone remains the main risk to the global economy.
Across the region banks rebounded as we saw an easing in bond yield spreads for Spain and Italy, as the yield on Spanish 10-year government bond fell 13 basis points to 5.89% and the yield on Italian 10-year government bond fell one basis point to 5.48%.
In economic news the German ZEW indicator of investor sentiment showed an unexpected increase in April to 23.4 (up from 22.3), the fifth straight monthly gain.
In London the FTSE 100 index last closed up 1.8% (or 100 points) at 5,766, the German DAX was last up 2.6% (or 176 points) at 6,801 while in France the CAC was last up 2.7% (or 87 points) at 3,292. Spain was up 2.3% and Italy ended up 3.6.
Asian stock markets ended mostly lower yesterday, due to ongoing concerns over eurozone debt issues.
Markets across the region traded lower. In China the Shanghai Composite index was down almost 1%, as Chinese banks showed weakness after news that data showed foreign direct investment in mainland China continued to decline. Foreign direct investment into China fell -6.1% in March from the year-earlier period to $11.76 billion, highlighting the impact of the eurozone debt crisis, which is feeding into slowing Chinese economic growth.
In China the SSE Composite last closed down -0.9% (or -22 points) at 2,335, while in Hong Kong the Hang Seng Index last closed down -0.2% (or -48 points) at 20,562 and in Japan the Nikkei 225 Index closed down -1.7% (or -167 points) at 9,464. The South Korean KOSPI was up 0.4% for the session, while the Indian market closed up 1.1%.
The Dollar Index was higher at 79.55 on a lower Euro, while the Australian Dollar last traded higher at 1.0424. Commodities prices traded generally higher.
For the session the benchmark crude NYMEX for April delivery was up 0.1% (or $US0.06) to settle at $US104.26. Copper prices are backing off key resistance level as Copper for April delivery was up 1.1% (or 2 cents) at $US3.6440. April gold was up 0.1% (or $US1.50) at $US1,650.
ASX News Today
ANZ – ANZ Bank on Friday lifted interest rates for its variable home loan customers and small business borrowers despite the central bank leaving the cash rate on hold.
BBG – Billabong, the surfwear retailer, has completed a $276 million sale of almost half of its Nixon accessories brand.
CGT – Singapore’s LionGold Corp is prowling for more acquisitions in the gold sector after its friendly takeover offer for Castlemaine Goldfields.
DOW – Downer EDI has won an $85 million contract to carry out electrical work on a new cancer research centre in Melbourne.
JHX – James Hardie Industries announced that the head of its United States business is leaving the building products company.
MTU – M2 Telecommunications has bought Primus Telecom for $192.4 million in cash, and will undertake a $83 million capital raising.
NAB – NAB boss Cameron Clyne will not rule out a rise in his bank’s rates, but pledges to undercut rivals when it comes to the pricing of mortgages.
RIO – Rio Tinto the mining giant has increased production of key commodities including iron ore and coal in the March quarter, but copper output fell by 18 percent due to lower grades at its US operations.
WBC – Westpac will open its first branch in India after receiving a banking licence from the Reserve Bank of India.
WHC – Whitehaven Coal’s friendly $5.1 billion takeover of Nathan Tinkler’s Aston Resources has been approved by Ashton shareholders. The deal will create Australia’s largest listed independent coal company. Mr Tinkler holds a 32 per cent stake in Aston, which the takeover values at about $720 Million.
ASX – to open higher
US & UK/Europe – higher
Commodities Stock Index up 1.6%
Gold Stocks Index up 1.0%
Oil Stocks Index up 1.6%
US ADRs – Broadly Higher
By Michael Hevern