* US markets fell again, as concerns resurfaced over the financial stability of the Spanish banking system.
* European stock markets were generally weaker again overnight, as traders were spooked by news about the stability of the Spanish banking system.
* Asian stock markets slumped yesterday, taking their lead from the US and eurozone traders, and as the miners sold-down.
* Commodities prices were sharply lower, with Gold prices traded around $US1,589 while crude-oil closed around $US96.
The Australian market is expected to ease again today. Markets recovered from their early sell-down and finished relatively flat in the European markets and in the US. We have to digest the Employment Report today, as economists expect unemployment to push up a touch at 5.3%.
The SPI Futures is trading below the key pivot level of 4300, ended down -0.7% (or -30 points) at 4,250. The key levels for our index today are 4220 to 4280.
See below for ASX listed companies in the news today.
Economics News Today
* ABS Employment Report.
US markets fell again, as concerns resurfaced over the financial stability of the Spanish banking system.
The Dow Jones Industrial Index traded lower for a sixth straight session overnight, its longest losing streak since August. In the broader markets the S&P500 and the Nasdaq recovered from sharp early selling but they have traded lower 5 of the past 6-sessions. The falls have been broader, but the biggest decliners have come from the Financial, Industrials and the Materials sectors. In the NYSE 2 stocks fell for every 1 that gained.
The US earnings season is coming to an end with 441 of the S&P 500 companies reporting results to date, 66.7 percent exceeded estimates, according to Thomson Reuters data, that was down from over 80 percent at the beginning of earnings season. Newscorp has reported a bumper 3Q earnings report with EPS growth up 58% and Operating Income grew 23% on the pcp.
Commodity prices have had severe pullbacks this month, with Crude-oil down -8%, Silver down -6% and Gold and Copper down -5% since the start of May.
All ten company groups that make up the S&P index traded lower, with the Materials down -0.9% , Energy sector was down -0.5%, Financials sector down -1.1%, Industrials sector was down -1.1%, Technology was flat, while Consumer Staples were down -0.4%.
The Dow Jones closed down -0.7% (or -97 points) at 12,835, the S&P 500 index down -0.7% (or -9 points) at 1,354, the Nasdaq ended down -0.4% (or -11 points) at 2,934 and the smaller cap Russell 2000 was down -0.5%.
European stock markets were generally weaker again overnight, as traders were spooked by news about the stability of the Spanish banking system and that Greece may trigger a disorderly default going forward. The Stoxx Europe 600 index fell -0.3%.
Across the region the financials led the falls, as traders were spooked over the Greek political uncertainties which has sparked debate among other eurozone members over whether to delay the next bailout payment due tonight.
The Spanish market fell -2.8% and led the declines across the region, plunging to its lowest level in over 8 years due to concerns over Spanish bank funding, as yields on the government’s bonds jumped above 6% due to expectations that the country’s fourth-largest bank would effectively be nationalized. Elsewhere Credit Suisse raised its probability of a euro breakup to 15% (up from 5%) and they cited that there is a considerable risk that a left leaning coalition is formed at the next Greek election, which will have a more explicit mandate to reject the European Union and International Monetary Fund program. In Germany the market bucked the trend ending higher for the session.
In London the FTSE 100 index last closed down -0.4% (or -24 points) at 5,530, the German DAX was closed up 0.5% (or 30 points) at 6,475 while in France the CAC was closed down -0.2% (or -6 points) at 3,118, Spain closed down -2.8% and Italy closed down -1.2%.
Asian stock markets slumped yesterday, taking their lead from the US and eurozone traders, and as the miners sold-down due to the rrecent the slump in commodity prices.
Across the region metal, mining, and energy stocks sold-down, due to declining commodity prices and traders also sold financials due to the fresh concerns about the fragility of European monetary union following failed coalition talks in Greece.
In Japan the Nikkei Index touched its lowest level in three months. In Hong Kong the Hang Seng losses were pared by gains in its largest constituent, HSBC which climbed 0.7% after announcing that its first quarter profit before tax rose slightly more than expected. In China the Shanghai Index eased but held above the 2400 level, miners weighed on sentiment.
In China the SSE Composite closed down -1.7% (or -40 points) at 2,409, while in Hong Kong the Hang Seng Index closed down -0.8% (or -154 points) at 20,330 and in Japan the Nikkei 225 Index was down -1.5% (or -136 points) at 9,045, South Korean KOSPI was down -0.9% for the session, while the Indian market closed down -0.4%.
The Dollar Index was higher at 80.11 on a lower Euro, while the Australian Dollar last traded lower at 1.0051. Commodities prices traded lower.
BSL – BlueScope Steel the steel manufacturer has completed a tender for the repurchase of $US300 million private placement notes, which were then re-valued at $US305.4 million.
CRF – Centro Retail Australia has lost a $200 million class action case against the property group.
DJS – David Jones is hoping that former Woolworths and Toys R Us executives can help restore the troubled department stores to their former glory.
DOW – Downer EDI has told investors its problematic Waratah Train project is back on track and will be delivered within cost and program.
DTE – Dart Energy says a coal seam gas (CSG) well planned for a suburb in Sydney’s inner west has been blocked by a local council.
LEI – A Leighton Holdings subsidiary says it has been named preferred contractor for the Fortescue Metals Group-owned Solomon iron ore project in WA’s Pilbara region.
MBN – Mirabela Nickel says it considering a capital raising and reconfirmed its production guidance reported only a month ago.
NAB – NAB bank has reported a 1H12 -15.5% fall in profits, due to its underperforming UK operations.
NWS – Newscorp has reported a bumper 3Q earnings report with EPS growth up 58% and Operating Income grew 23% on the pcp.
SKT – Sky Network Television’s the Sydney-based content provider, says the content arrangements will hold back demand for NZ households to buy into the national ultra-fast broadband network.
SIP – Sigma Pharmaceuticals the drugs wholesaler and pharmacy support services provider says further expansion of exclusive distribution arrangements in the pharmacy sector could undermine federal government policy.
BHP down -1.0%, RIO down -0.5%; AWC down -2.5%
ANZ up 0.1% & NAB up 0.6%
NEM up 3.9%, JHX down, NWS down -0.1%
By Michael Hevern
Written on 5 September, 7:15am