* US stock markets rebounded overnight, as the earnings season continues to be robust and accommodative comments from the Fed.
* European stocks markets rose for a second session overnight, led by the banks.
* Asian stock markets ended mixed yesterday as traders exhibited caution ahead of the US Federal Reserve’s policy-meeting.
* Commodities prices were higher, with Gold prices traded around $US1,643, while crude-oil closed around $US104.
Australian shares are play catch-up today, after stocks traded higher overseas. Markets jumped higher from the open in the European markets and in the US as traders chose “risk-on” after the Fed said it remains accommodative for the foreseeable future.Remember we have options expiry today which will likely add to the volatility.
The SPI Futures is trading above the key pivot level of 4250, ended up 0.4% (or 17 points) at 4,405. The key levels for our index this week are 4340 to 4450.
See below for ASX listed companies in the news today.
Economics News Today
* Apr Australian PSI
* Apr VFACTS vehicle sales.
US stock markets rebounded overnight, as the earnings season continues to be robust and accommodative comments from the Fed.
The three major indexes all traded higher, with the tech-heavy Nasdaq surging 2.3%, it biggest single -day gin for the year, after Apple’s earnings doubled and its shares jumped 9%, with its market capitalisation surging by nearly $US50 billion in the session. All 10 S&P500 sectors traded higher led by Materials and Technology sectors.
Traders cheered the comments out of the Federal Reserve policy-setting committee which reaffirmed its commitment to keeping interest rates low at least through late 2014 and later the Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke said the Fed would not hesitate to support the economy with more easing if required, through the buying more long-term bonds as in Operation Twist which is scheduled to finish in June.
In economic news, US durable goods orders dropped 4.2% in March from the previous month, far below expectations and excluding transportation, orders fell 1.1%. Commodities rose on the back of a lower US dollar.
All ten company groups that make up the S&P index traded higher, with the Materials up 2.1% , Energy sector was up 1.0%, Financials sector up 0.9%, Industrials sector was up 0.2%, Technology was up 2.8%, while Consumer Staples were up 1.7%.
The Dow Jones closed up 0.7% (or 89 points) at 13,090, the S&P 500 index up 1.4% (or 19 points) at 1,390, the Nasdaq ended up 2.3% (or 68 points) at 3,029 and the smaller cap Russell 2000 was down -1.5%.
In China the SSE Composite last closed up 0.8% (or 18 points) at at 2,407, while in Hong Kong the Hang Seng Index last closed down -0.2% (or -31 points) at 20,646 and in Japan the Nikkei 225 Index was closed up 1.0% (or 93 points) at 9,561, South Korean KOSPI was down -0.1% for the session, while the Indian market closed down -0.3%.
The Dollar Index was lower at 79.06 on a higher Euro, while the Australian Dollar last traded lower at 1.0405. Commodities prices traded generally higher.
For the session the Benchmark crude NYMEX for April delivery was up 0.4% (or $US0.40) settled at $US104.00. Copper prices are backing off key resistance level as Copper for April delivery was up 2.1% (or 7 cents) at $US3.7125. April gold was up 0.01% (or $US0.60) at $US1,643.60.
NCM – Newcrest Mining has cut its forecasts for gold and copper production for 2012 after carrying out a major review of its operations.
NWS – In the UK, Rupert Murdoch has declared he had “never asked a prime minster for anything” as the UK inquiry into media ethics claimed its first political scalp.
OSH – Oil Search says it is reviewing bids from potential joint venture partners in its Papua New Guinea gas projects.
PDN – Palidin the Africa-focused uranium miner has significantly strengthened its balance sheet after a convertible bond issue that raised $US274 million ($A266.50 million) from investors.
PMP – PMP the publisher and direct marketer, has slashed its full year earnings forecasts and ramped up its cost-cutting program amid challenging trading conditions.
QRN – Queensland’s freight rail network will be even less accountable on environmental issues if it is completely privatised, according to state Greens candidate Jo Bragg.
SDG – Sunland says the the Gold Coast upmarket five-star Palazzo Versace is up for sale.
SPT – Spotlees the take-over target is in a trading halt ahead of an expected announcement about its talks with potential suitor Pacific Equity Partners.
THG – Thakral Holdings (THG) says a $400 million takeover offer from private equity group Brookfield undervalues the Australian property company.
WES – Wesfarmers says Coles sales has risen almost 5 percent in the 3Q but tough trading conditions led to a -4.4 percent fall in Target sales.
OZ Minerals (OZL) March 2012 Quarterly Report
Oceanagold (OGC) Q1 2012 Results
ASX – to open higher
US & UK/Europe – higher
Commodities Stock Index up 0.9%
Gold Stocks Index up 2.6%
Oil Stocks Index up 0.3%
US ADRs – Broadly Higher!!…
BHP up 1.6%, RIO up 2.8%; AWC up 2.1%
By Michael Hevern