* US markets fell again, as concerns resurfaced over the political uncertainty in Greece.
* European stocks sold-off overnight, as traders were spooked by news out of Greece that may trigger a disorderly default going forward. .
* Asian stock markets drifted higher yesterday, but expect selling today.
* Commodities prices were sharply lower, with Gold prices traded around $US1,605 while crude-oil closed around $US97.
The Australian market is expected to sell-off today, particularly our mining stocks. Markets sold-down and finished well off their highs in the European markets and in the US. We have to digest the Federal Budget which was delivered overnight, companies will not be impressed by the withdrawal f the promised cut in corporate tax rate, which was promised as a results of the new MRRT tax.
The SPI Futures is trading above the key pivot level of 4300, ended down -0.5% (or -20 points) at 4,279. The key levels for our index today are 4230 to 4300.
See below for ASX listed companies in the news today.
Economics News Today
* DEEWR Monthly Leading Indicator of Employment.
US markets fell again, as concerns resurfaced over the political uncertainty in Greece.
The Dow Industrials index fell a fifth straight session, finishing below 13,000 for the first time since 23 April. In the broader markets the S&P500 and the Nasdaq closed at their lowest levels in a month. The falls were led by the Consumer Discretionary and Financial sectors as 8 of the 10 S&P500 sectors ended lower and on the NYSE there were 2 decliners for every stock that gained.
In economic news the National Federation of Independent Business reading on small-business optimism index, rose in April to its highest reading since December 2007, boosted by strength in the net earnings and new jobs subindexes.
Commodities traded lower on the back of a rising US dollar.
All ten company groups that make up the S&P index traded generally lower, with the Materials down -0.5% , Energy sector was down -0.3%, Financials sector down -0.7%, Industrials sector was down -0.3%, Technology was down -0.4%, while Consumer Staples were down -1.2%.
The Dow Jones closed down -0.6% (or -76 points) at 12,932, the S&P 500 index down -0.4% (or -6 points) at 1,363, the Nasdaq ended down -0.4% (or -11 points) at 2,946 and the smaller cap Russell 2000 was down -0.1%.
European stocks sold-off overnight, as traders were spooked by news out of Greece that may trigger a disorderly default going forward. The Stoxx Europe 600 index fell -1.7%.
Across the region stocks sold-down on the back of the uncertainties in Greece, led by the financials. The political uncertainties resulting for the weekend election which has given rise to a hung parliament, has triggered the Greek market to sell-off to its lowest level in nearly two decades.
Investors are concerned that a new Greek government will not implement the measures required by the troika, required as the prerequisite for any further bailout funding, resulting in a disorderly default by Greece, which would seriously impact the eurozone financial system.
In economic news German industrial production rose a seasonally adjusted 2.8% in March, ahead the forecast 1% increase. The German market had a shortened trading session due to technical difficulties. In London the market fell around -2%, led by the miners and financials.
In London the FTSE 100 index last closed down -1.8% (or -100 points) at 5,554, the German DAX was closed down -1.9% (or -124 points) at 6,444 while in France the CAC was closed down -2.8% (or -89 points) at 3,125, Spain closed down -0.8% and Italy closed down -2.4%.
Asian stock markets drifted higher yesterday, but expect selling today.
In Japan the market outperformed in the region, rebounding from sharp losses from the prior session. Trader mood was boosted by upbeat earnings from Mitsubishi Corp and Fuji Heavy Industries. In Hong Kong the Hang Seng Index fell.
In China the Shanghai Composite fell for a second day, led by declines in the banks and property companies, as traders chose caution ahead of a report on yuan loan growth due out today, which is expected to show a drop in loans.
In China the SSE Composite closed down -0.1% (or -3 points) at 2,450, while in Hong Kong the Hang Seng Index closed down -0.3% (or -52 points) at 20,485 and in Japan the Nikkei 225 Index was up 0.7% (or 62 points) at 9,181, South Korean KOSPI was up 0.5% for the session, while the Indian market closed down -2.2%.
The Dollar Index was higher at 79.85 on a lower Euro, while the Australian Dollar last traded lower at 1.0104. Commodities prices traded lower.
BHP – BHP Billiton has appointed Ian Maxwell as President Energy Coal following Jimmy Wilson’s move to become President Iron Ore.
CBA – CommBank is cutting interest rates on its one and three year fixed home loans by up to 0.34 percentage point.
CRF – Centro Retail Australia is in a trading halt pending an announcement on settlement discussions over its $200 million class action.
ILU – Iluka the mineral sands miner says it will cut its annual production of zircon in 2012 because the global economic outlook remains unclear.
LEI – Leighton Holdings insists that its portfolio of projects is performing well despite its two big ticket developments costing the construction giant $254 million in pre-tax earnings.
OSH – Oil Search says 2012 will be a potentially transformational year for the company, presenting an unprecedented opportunity to grow the value of its assets.
OST – OneSteel shareholders have voted in favour of changing the company’s name to Arrium Limited.
TLS – Telstra has committed to buying at least $US5.1 million of satellite equipment and product bundles over the next 12 months from World Reach Ltd subsidiary Beam Communications Pty Ltd.
ASX – to open higher
US & UK/Europe – recover
Commodities Stock Index down -0.1%
Gold Stocks Index down -0.6%
Oil Stocks Index down -1%
US ADRs – Broadly Lower!!…
BHP down -0.5%, RIO up 0.3%; AWC down -3.6%
ANZ up 0.6% & NAB up 0.6%
NEM down -0.1%, JHX down -0.1%, NWS up 0.9%
By Michael Hevern