* US stock markets were unable to hold on to early gains ending at 3-month lows again, on concerns over global financial stability, after Greece says it will have to go back to the polls on 17 June.
* European recovered from an early sell-off butut still finished lower overnight, as the focus remained on Greece.
* Asian stock markets plunged again yesterday, due to concerns over Greece moving closer to an exit from the eurozone after coalition talks failed to form a government.
* Commodities prices were lower, with Gold prices traded around $US1,540 while crude-oil closed around $US92.
The Australian market is expected to ease again today. Markets recovered from early selling, but still finished lower in the European markets and in the US. Traders continued to sell on concerns over Greece, the ASX lost $30 billion in value yesterday.
The SPI Futures is trading below the key pivot level of 4300, ended down -0.1% (or -2 points) at 4,157. The key levels for our index today are 4080 to 4180.
See below for ASX listed companies in the news today.
US stock markets were unable to hold on to early gains ending at 3-month lows again, on concerns over global financial stability, after Greece says it will have to go back to the polls on 17 June.
The Dow Jones Industrial Index fell for a fourth straight day and has finished lower 10 of the past 11 sessions, finishing on 4-month lows and down -4.7% for May. In the broader markets the S&P500 and Nasdaq continued their falls, as financial and materials sectors dragged on the markets.
Traders initially pushed stocks higher after economic data showed home building was stronger-than-expected the past two months and industrial output for April had its biggest monthly jump since December.
The Fed FOMC meeting minutes were then released and sellers stepped in, as it was clear that the Fed has no intention of implementing any additional economic stimulus near term.
Commodity prices continue to fall with crude-oil hitting 6-month lows and gold prices lower again.
All ten company groups that make up the S&P index traded lower with the exception of Healthcare and the Consumer sectors, with the Materials down -1.1% , Energy sector was down -0.6%, Financials sector down -1.5%, Industrials sector was down -0.1%, Technology was down -0.8%, while Consumer Staples were down -0.2%.
The Dow Jones closed down -0.3% (or -33 points) at 12,598, the S&P 500 index down -0.4% (or -6 points) at 1,325, the Nasdaq ended down -0.7% (or -20 points) at 2,874 and the smaller cap Russell 2000 was down -0.7%.
European recovered from an early sell-off butut still finished lower overnight, as the focus remained on Greece. The Stoxx Europe 600 index closed down -0.6%.
The Greek markets continued lower down -1.1% as stocks remained under selling pressure as officials set the new election date of June 17, after political parties failed to form a coalition government. There is a delay much-needed international aid for Greece due to the political upheaval, and there were reports that the ECB has temporarily halted lending to Greek banks, as these banks have see a run on them, as depositors withdraw their funds as fast as they can, plus banks asset valuations are plummeting and the capital backing is inadequate for the current environment. The National Bank of Greece SA shares plunged -13.5% in the session and the financials led the selling once again.
The major major markets fell around -0.5%, but the French bucked the trend closing up 0.3%, on the back of some buying in the battered energy sector.
In London the FTSE 100 index last closed down -0.6% (or -32 points) at 5,405, the German DAX was closed down -0.3% (or -17 points) at 6,384 while in France the CAC was closed up 0.3% (or 9 points) at 3,048, Spain closed down -1.3% and Italy closed down -0.2%.
Asian stock markets plunged again yesterday, due to concerns over Greece moving closer to an exit from the eurozone after coalition talks failed to form a government.
Overnight Greece moved a step closer to hold new elections on 17 June. Across the region the financials and materials sectors led the falls, as traders hit the sell button on concern over eurozone financial stability and slowing Chinese economic growth.
The Hong Kong Hang Seng index led the falls down over -3% after bucking the global trend in the previous session. Hong Kong market plunged to a 4-month low, as sellers stepped in on ongoing concerns over faltering eurozone growth. The Chinese market fell below its 50 day moving average and has had 7-successive sessions of selling. In Japanese the Nikkei index fell below 8800 for the first the start of February, as eurozone focused exporters were hit heavily.
In China the SSE Composite closed down 1.2% (or -29 points) at 2,346, while in Hong Kong the Hang Seng Index closed down -3.2% (or -634 points) at 19,259 and in Japan the Nikkei 225 Index was down -1,1% (or -100 points) at 8,801, South Korean KOSPI was down -3.1% for the session, while the Indian market closed down 1.8%.
The Dollar Index was higher at 81.1 on a lower Euro, while the Australian Dollar last traded lower at 99.14. Commodities prices traded lower again.
For the session the Benchmark crude NYMEX for June delivery was down -1.3% settled at $US92.73. Copper prices are breaking key support level as Copper for June delivery was down 1.4% (or -5 cents) at $US3.479, while June Gold was down -1.1% (or -$US17.40) at $US1,540.
BHP – BHP Billiton chairman Jacques Nasser says the global miner will not spend the $80 billion on growth projects that it had planned to.
BTA- Biota the flu drug developer says its losses for the first nine months of the FY12 financial year are half that of the prior corresponding period.
CSR – CSR the building products maker expects Australia’s housing construction market to remain bleak for the foreseeable future and says it is difficult to predict the timing of a recovery.
IDL – Industrea says the US giant General Electric (GE) aims to increase its presence in the booming resources sector with a $700 million friendly takeover for Australian mining equipment-maker Industrea.
LLC – Lend Lease Australia’s biggest property developer, says there are signs of recovery in global construction markets but remains cautious about its medium-term prospects
MBN – Mirabela Nickel’s is doing a $120 million capital raising which Moody’s Investors Service says should alleviate the miner’s near-term liquidity pressures.
MND – Monadelphous Group the engineering company, has been awarded two new construction contracts in Western Australia worth about $150 million.
SHL – Sonic Healthcare will buy Healthscope’s pathology businesses in three Australian states and Candberra for $100 million.
SPN – SP AusNet the Victorian electricity and gas distributor says full year profit has risen to $253 million due partly to higher electricity prices.
TOL – Toll Holdings Transport and logistics group has warned of lower earnings in 2012, sending its shares plummeting.
VAH – Virgin Australia says it has started trialling the use of biodiesel to power some ground vehicles at Brisbane Airport.
WRT – Westfield Retail truist the shopping centre giant, is punting on interest rate cuts and $5 billion worth of federal government handouts to families to help entice people to spend again.
BHP down -1.6%, RIO down -1.6%; AWC down 1.9%
ANZ down -1.8% & NAB down -0.3%
NEM up 0.3%, JHX down -1.8%, NWS down -0.9%
By Michael Hevern