* US stock markets recovered late in the session to finish flat, after positive comments from EU leaders.
* European stock markets recovered from their biggest drop in a month, as bargain hunters stepped in as they started to look at the outlook for company earnings.
* Asian stock markets ended mixed yesterday, weighed down by data indicating a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing, which only added to the concerns over the eurozone debt crisis.
* Commodities prices higher, with Gold prices traded around $US1,558 while crude-oil closed around $US91.
The Australian market is expected to look to find some support today on options expiry trades are settled early, but traders again had mixed leads from overseas. Markets recovered from early selling in the European and the US markets recovered as buyers got the upper hand late in the US session. Traders bought up in the US as EU leaders indicated support to keep Greece in the euro.
The SPI Futures is trading around the key pivot level of 4080, ended up 0.4% (or 16 points) at 4,068. The key levels for our index today are 4050 to 4120.
See below for ASX listed companies in the news today.
US stock markets recovered late in the session to finish flat, after positive comments from EU leaders.
The Dow Jones Industrial Index rose, while in the broader markets were mixed with the S&P 500 ended higher but the tech-heavy Nasdaq closed lower. The 10 S&P sectors were mixed with the technology and industrial sectors retreating, while financials, mining and consumer sectors provided some support. Trading volumes were in-line with the 3-month average. So far this month the S&P 500 is down 5.5%, led by falls in the financial, energy and technology sectors which have plunged 7.7% so far.
Traders remain on edge over Greece, but late in the session comments from Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti that Greece is likely to stay in the euro and a majority of the region’s leaders support issuing a joint bond, boosted sentiment and sparked some bargain hunting.
In economic data, US companies placed fewer orders for computers, machinery and other capital equipment in April for a second month, while manufacturing in the US expanded in May at the slowest pace in three months, confirming that the US economy is slowing. As investors fret over a slowdown in global growth and a worsening of the eurozone debt crisis. Commodity prices are looking to find support around current levels,, with crude-oil bouncing off 6-month lows and gold is hovering around 12-month lows.
All ten company groups that make up the S&P index traded mixed, with the Materials up 0.6% , Energy sector was down -0.1%, Financials sector up 0.1%, Industrials sector was down -0.1%, Technology was down -0.6%, while Consumer Staples were up 0.9%.
The Dow Jones closed up 0.3% (or 34 points) at 12,530, the S&P 500 index up 0.1% (or 2 points) at 1,320, the Nasdaq ended down -0.4% (or -11 points) at 2,839 and the smaller cap Russell 2000 was up 0.2%.
European stock markets gave back all of their gains from the previous couple of session to record their biggest single-session falls in a month. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index sank 2.1%, its biggest drop in a month as the index has now plunged -12% its mid-March highs.
European stock markets recovered from their biggest drop in a month, as bargain hunters stepped in as they started to look at the outlook for company earnings.
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index rose 1%, and has sold-down for the past 3-weeks pushing valuation to 9.9 times estimated earnings, near the cheapest since January, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. European stocks had slid the most in a month in the previous session after a report cited the former Greek Prime Minister Lucas Papademos as saying that while it is unlikely the nation will leave the euro, it is still a risk.
Sentiment was boosted by comments from Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti that Greece is likely to stay in the euro and a majority of the region’s leaders support issuing a joint bond, boosted sentiment and sparked some bargain hunting. Across the region financial, mining and energy stocks were bought up as bargain hunters stepped in to pick up beaten-down companies.
In other news private-sector output across the 17-nation eurozone contracted in May by the fastest pace since mid-2009, according to Markit, and another survey showed German manufacturing output fell in May at the sharpest pace for nearly three years.
However investors are starting to look beyond the Greek crisis and are in the early stages of assessing long-term value for companies in the region.
In Japan the Nikkei Index traded at a 4-month low, below 8500, the heavy recent selling has given traders the opportunity to unwind their short positions near-term.
In Hong Kong the Hang Seng Index and in China the Shanghai Composite both fell over -0.5%. Sentiment was hurt by May Chinese factory data indicated a deteriorating economic environment in the world’s second largest economy, as the HSBC preliminary China purchasing managers index came out at 48.7 (compared to 49.3 in April) and this is a seventh straight month that the index indicated a contraction. In China property stocks saw some buying due to speculation that the slowing economy may force the Chinese government to loosen policy, benefiting the real estate market.
In China the SSE Composite closed down -0.4% (or -10 points) at 2,363, while in Hong Kong the Hang Seng Index closed down -0.6% (or -119 points) at 18,666 and in Japan the Nikkei 225 Index was up 0.1% (or 8 points) at 8,563, South Korean KOSPI was up 0.3% for the session, while the Indian market closed up 1.7%.
The Dollar Index was higher at 82.10 on a lower Euro, while the Australian Dollar last traded higher at 97.63. Commodities prices traded higher.
For the session the Benchmark crude NYMEX for June delivery was up 1.0% settled at $US90.83. Copper prices are looking for key support level as Copper for July delivery was up 1.2% (or 4.2 cents) at $US3.4375, while July Gold was up 0.7% (or $US10.10) at $US1,558.50.
ASX News Today
BHP – BHP faces industrial action as over 3,000 coalminers have started a week-long strike in Queensland’s Bowen Basin as an 18-month dispute over working conditions continues.
FMG – Fortescue’s mining cheif Andrew “Twiggy” Forrest has described the European debt crisis as a beat-up.
FMS – Flinders Mining the iron ore miner, is in a trading halt pending an announcement on the court hearing over its proposed $554 million takeover by a Russian steel maker.
FPA – Fisher & Paykel Appliances, has beaten its full-year guidance, while posting a decline in earnings, but warns the outlook for 2013 is for soft retail markets.
MYR – Myer chief executive Bernie Brookes has blamed brand distributors for higher prices in Australian stores.
ORG – Origin says the Australia Pacific LNG JV has secured $US8.5 billion in funding for its massive liquefied natural gas (LNG) project in Queensland.
QAN – Qantas is to boost the number of its east coast flights, providing around 900,000 more seats per year.
SDL – Sundance Resources and its Chinese suitor Hanlong Mining have altered a $1.65 billion takeover agreement to ensure the deal is finalised by November.
TLS – Foxtel has completed its $2 billion takeover of regional counterpart Austar, and says pricing and billing procedures will not change for customers of either service.
PPK Group Limited (PPK)
ASX – to open lower
US & UK/Europe – EU Rebounded, US drifts
BHP down -0.6%, RIO down -0.9%; AWC down -2.5%
ANZ down -0.5% & NAB down -1.3%
NEM up 0.1%, JHX down -0.6%, NWS up 0.8%