* US stock markets fell sharply on Friday night, as sellers stepped in across the board due to the disappointing Non-Farms Payroll Employment Report and crude-oil broke below the $US100 level.
* European stock markets declined on Friday night, ahead of a number of country elections.
* Asian share markets ended mostly lower on Friday, expect Asian markets to sell-off today, following their overseas counterparts. .
* Commodities prices were lower, with Gold prices traded around $US1,645 while crude-oil closed around $US98.
The Australian market is expected to sell-off again today, particularly our miners, after commodities sold-down on the weekend. Markets traded lower from the open and closed on their lows in the European markets and in the US. We have a busy day for economic news today and the Federal Budget tomorrow night.
The SPI Futures is trading above the key pivot level of 4300, ended down -1.1% (or -50 points) at 4,340. The key levels for our index this week are 4250 to 4400.
See below for ASX listed companies in the news today.
Economics News Today
* Apr Australian PCI
* Mar Building Approvals
* Mar Retail Sales
* Apr ANZ Job Ads
* Apr NAB Business Survey
* Apr Official Reserve Assets Reserves (US dollars).
US stock markets fell sharply on Friday night, as sellers stepped in across the board due to the disappointing Non-Farms Payroll Employment Report and crude-oil broke below the $US100 level.
The sell-off was sparked by the Labor Department report that showed the US economy added fewer jobs than expected last month, as Nonfarm payrolls rose 115,000 in April (well below the anticipated an increase of 168,000 jobs). The poor employment report capped off a week of disappointing manufacturing and employment reports.
All 10 sectors in the S&P500 traded in the red for the session with the falls led by the technology and energy, while the materials and financials sectors sold-off sharply too. The Nasdaq has its biggest session fall since last November and the index had its biggest weekly decline for the since November, slumping -3.7% during the week.
The other two major indexes had their first fall in 3-weeks with the Dow Jones Industrials and the S&P500 indexes having their largest drop in a month, and for the week the Dow Jones was down -1.4% and the S&P 500 fell -2.4%. All 30 of the Dow components finished down for the session.
Commodities were weaker, led by a sharp fall in crude-oil prices which slumped below the $US100 level for the first time since February, after margin requirements were increased on the futures market. Gold price edged higher.
All ten company groups that make up the S&P index traded sharply lower, with the Materials down -1.7% , Energy sector was down -2.3%, Financials sector down -1.6%, Industrials sector was down -1.4%, Technology was down -2.1%, while Consumer Staples were down -1.9%.
The Dow Jones closed down -1.3% (or -168 points) at 13,038, the S&P 500 index down -1.6% (or -22 points) at 1,369, the Nasdaq ended down -2.3% (or -68 points) at 2,956 and the smaller cap Russell 2000 was down -1.8%.
European stock markets declined on Friday night, ahead of a number of country elections. The Stoxx Europe 600 index ended down -1.7%.
Traders sold-off ahead of political elections, which will be a people vote on the restrictive austerity measures that have been imposed as a result of the eurozone bailout earlier this year.
In France the second-biggest economy, have elected Francois Hollande, who defeated French President Nicolas Sarkozy to has become the first Socialist in 17 years. Hollande has pledged to push for less austerity and more growth in the region. While in Greece voters supported the anti-bailout parties, throwing doubt on whether the two main parties can put together a government strong enough to implement spending cuts to ensure the flow of bailout funds.
Traders face a period of uncertainty as these new governments stamp their authority on their respective economies.
In London the FTSE 100 index last closed down -1.9% (or -111 points) at 5,655, the German DAX was closed down -2.0% (or -133 points) at 6,561 while in France the CAC was closed down -1.9% (or -61 points) at 3,162, Spain closed up 0.3% and Italy closed down -1.4%.
In China the SSE Composite closed up 0.5% (or 12 points) at 2,450, while in Hong Kong the Hang Seng Index closed down -0.8% (or -163 points) at 21,086 and in Japan the Nikkei 225 Index was closed at 9,380, South Korean KOSPI was down -0.3% for the session, while the Indian market closed down -1.8%.
The Dollar Index was higher at 79.1 on a lower Euro, while the Australian Dollar last traded lower at 1.0191. Commodities prices traded lower.
For the session the Benchmark crude NYMEX for June delivery was down -3.9% settled at $US98.49. Copper prices are backing off key resistance level as Copper for June delivery was down -1.5% (or -0.4 cents) at $US3.721, while June gold was up 0.6% (or $US10.40) at $US1,645.
CBA – Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) has cut its standard variable home loan rate by 40 basis points to 7.01 per cent.
CMJ – Consolidated Media Holdings says it is not considering a sale of its 25 percent stake in pay TV operator Foxtel, but has been in discussions which may result in a change of control at the company.
CRF – Centro Retail Australia the shopping centre owner expects lower interest rates to improve sales in its centres.
HVN – Harvey Norman say its pre-tax profit for the first nine months of the financial year is down 25 percent as sales continued to fall in the three months March.
QAN – Qantas will cut spending by a further $400 million next financial year by delaying delivery of new A380 aircraft.
LLC- Lend Lease has won a $210 million contract to carry out earthworks for the BHP Mitsubishi Alliance in Queensland.
STO – Santos the oil and gas producer Santos says reserving Australia’s natural gas resources for its own use would be counter-productive.
TSE – Transfield Services’ public transport joint venture has won an $800 million contract to maintain and operate Sydney’s famous harbour ferry services.
TAH – Tabcorp has generated more revenue in the first three months of the calendar year, partly as a result of greater interest in fixed-odds betting and the animated racing game, Trackside.
WBC – Westpac has cut its standard variable home loan rate by 37 basis points to 7.09 per cent.
GPT Group (GPT)
Macquarie Group (MQG)
ASX – to open lower
US & UK/Europe – lower
Commodities Stock Index down -1.9%
Gold Stocks Index up 0.5%
Oil Stocks Index down -3.0%
US ADRs – Broadly Lower!!…
BHP down -2.3%, RIO down -3.9%; AWC down -3.5%
By Michael Hevern