* US stock markets fell modestly overnight, ruling off the worst month since September.
* European stock markets ended the month of May with the biggest monthly loss since August 2011.
* Asian stock markets had a terrible month, recording some of the biggest monthly drops since the GFC in October 2008.
* Commodities prices lower, with Gold prices traded around $US1,560 while crude-oil closed around $US86.
The Australian market is expected to open flat today, as traders continue to fret over the eurozone debt crisis. Markets sold-down early but recovered into the close in the European and the US markets, as traders continued to turn “risk-off”.�
The SPI Futures is trading below the key pivot level of 4080, ended down -0.3% (or -11 points) at 4,062. The key levels for our index today are 4020 to 4100.
See below for ASX listed companies in the news today.
US stock markets fell modestly overnight, ruling off the worst month since September, as investor sentiment continued to weigh as the eurozone debt crisis worsens.
The month of May was terrible for investors with the Dow Jones and S&P500 indexes plunging -6.2% and the tech-heavy Nasdaq plummeted -7.2% for its worst month decline in 2-years. In the broader markets the the fall were led by growth sensitive sectors including Materials, Energy and Technology, though the Financials stocks saw some bargain hunting as fund managers did their end-of-month rebalancing.
In economic data there was a disappointing jobs report from ADP which weighed on sentiment, and reports showed that economic growth in the first quarter was revised down and the Chicago Business Barometer dropped to its lowest level since September 2009.
Commodity prices fell again overnight as the euro dollar is at 23-month lows against the US dollar, but the US dollar weakened sharply against the yen, a sign that investors are looking for safe havens. Crude-oil is down -17% for the month its worst performance sine December 2008, while the Gold price has fallen -6.8% in May and is trading at 10-month lows, and Copper has also suffered and was down -12.5% for the month and is trading at 6-month lows.
Typically we see some support coming into the markets in the first few trading sessions of the month, however traders are holding their breath as they prepare for tonight’s Non-Farm Payrolls employment report.
All ten company groups that make up the S&P index traded lower, with Materials down -0.4%, Energy sector was down -0.9%, Financials sector up 0.9%, Industrials sector was down -0.4%, Technology was down -0.5%, while Consumer Staples were down -0.2%.
The Dow Jones closed down -0.2% (or -26 points) at 12393, the S&P 500 index down -0.4% (or -3 points) at 1,310, the Nasdaq ended down -0.4% (or -10 points) at 2,827 and the smaller cap Russell 2000 was down -0.1%.
European stock markets ended the month of May with the biggest monthly loss since August 2011. The Stoxx Europe 600 index dropped 0.5% and for the month, the index lost 7%.
Across the region trader sentiment was weighed down by the ongoing eurozone banking system crisis. These problems have prompted European Union leaders to investigate solutions to prevent similar crises in the future, and the European Commission has called for the creation of a banking union, which was has been backed by European Central Bank President Mario Draghi. There have also been suggstions that the EFSF be used to bailout failing banks.
Markets across the region have been battered in May, with Germany down -7.3%, London’s FTSE 100 down -7.8% and the French market closed down -6.2%.
In London the FTSE 100 index last closed up 0.2% (or 10 points) at 5,306, the German DAX was closed down -0.3% (or -26 points) at 6,264, while in France the CAC was closed up 0.1% (or 1 points) at 3,017, Spain closed flat and Italy closed flat. Greece 2.8%.
Asian stock markets had a terrible month, with the benchmark regional gauge the MSCI Asia Pacific Index slid another -0.6%, recording its biggest monthly drop since the GFC in October 2008 down -10%, as the European debt crisis threatens to spill over from Greece and Spain to the other PIIGS economies. Five stocks fell for every three that rose on the session.
According to Bloomberg Stocks in the Asian Pacific Index benchmark are valued at 11.6 times estimated earnings on average, compared with 12.5 times for the S&P 500 and 10 times for the Euro Stoxx 600. The Chinese market finished the month in the red and was down a modest -1% for the month, as recent Chinese data has shown growth is slowing in the world’s second-biggest economy and amid concern European debt crisis is worsening. The Hong Kong market has been slammed in May down -11.6% and Japanese stocks have also suffered down -10% for the month.
In China the SSE Composite closed down -0.5% (or -12 points) at 2,372, while in Hong Kong the Hang Seng Index closed down -0.3% (or -60 points) at 18,630 and in Japan the Nikkei 225 Index was down -1.1% (or -90 points) at 8,543, South Korean KOSPI was down -0.1% for the session, while the Indian market closed down -0.6%.
The Dollar Index was higher at 83.07 on a lower Euro, while the Australian Dollar last traded higher at 97.32. Commodities prices traded lower.
For the session the Benchmark crude NYMEX for June delivery was down -1.5% settled at $US86.55. Copper prices are looking for key support level as Copper for July delivery was down -0.9% (or -3.1 cents) at $US3.3595, while July Gold was down -0.2% (or -$US2.70) at $US1,560.70.
BHP – BHP says thousands of workers have ended a week-long strike at six Queensland coal mines, but unions say more industrial action is likely.
DJS – David Jones sales fell by about 3% in the three months to April, and the retailer is gearing up for a big end of financial year clearance.
EGP – Echo Entertainment chairman John Story says he will fight attempts by billionaire James Packer to replace him.
FXJ – Fairfax Media has been accused of taking the easy route by its cost-cutting decisions by outsourcing production jobs to NZ.
GMG – Goodman Group, the industrial property owner is set to expand into the United States markets.
MTS – Metcash the grocery wholesaler, says it will dispute a $23.4 million charge arising from an audit by the tax office.
MYR – Myer’s head of the department store chain, says the company can beat its online retail rivals by offering the best of worlds.
PBG – Pacific Brands the troubled clothing retailer, says Chairman James MacKenzie will step down in June.
TLS – Telstra is reported to be considering buying television broadcaster Nine Entertainment Co.
UGL – United Group the engineering firm has won $190 million in contracts to supply and maintain freight locomotives for four different companies.
ASX – to open flat�
US & UK/Europe – modestly lower
BHP down -0.1%, RIO down -0.9%; AWC up 1.1%
ANZ up 1.0% & NAB down -0.7%
NEM down -1.4%, JHX down, NWS down -0.9%