* US stock markets finished flat overnight, on thin trading volumes.
* European stock markets gained on low trading volumes.
* Asian stock markets traded higher yesterday, as investors anticipate action from central banks globally..
* Commodities prices generally higher, Gold prices are trading around $US1,602 while crude-oil closed up around $US93.
The Australian market looks set to open positively, as we had subdued leads from the US and European as optimism remains that central banks may act to stimulate their respective economies. Reporting today includes CommBank, Oz Minerals, see below.
The SPI Futures is trading above the key support level of 4180, ended up 0.1% (or 2 points) at 4258. The key levels for our index today are 4240 to 4280.
See below for ASX listed companies in the news today.
US stock markets finished flat overnight, on thin trading volumes which are at the lowest levels since 2008, excluding holidays.
The three benchmark indexes started the day higher after better-than-expected growth data out of Germany, but they all ended flat. In the broader markets the materials, techs and financial sectors weighed, while consumer sectors picked up on the back of the retail figures.
Traders pushed stocks up early in the session, after US retail sales climbed more than forecast in July up 0.8%, as consumer spending rebounded at department stores, auto dealers and electronics outlets. This was the first positive retail sales figure in four months. Elsewhere a separate report showed wholesale prices increased more than forecast in July, reflecting higher costs for automobiles, cigarettes and pharmaceuticals.
The VIX (Volatilty Index) rebounded higher after four days of losses up 8% to 14.9. Investors are biding their time until central back move, which is not expected until at least mid-September, so get your protection in place now, in case of some unexpected volatility.
All ten company groups that make up the S&P index traded mixed, with Materials down -0.5%, Energy sector down -0.2%, Financials sector down -0.1%, Industrials sector was down -0.1%, Health Care up 0.4%, Technology was down -0.2%, while Consumer Staples were up 0.4%.
The Dow Jones closed up 0.1% (or 3 points) at 13,172, the S&P 500 index down -0.1% (or -1 points) at 1,404, the Nasdaq ended down -0.2% (or -5 points) at 3,013 and the smaller cap Russell 2000 was up 0.3%.
European stock markets gained on low trading volumes, rebounding from 2-days of declines. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index rose 0.7% and is up 16% from its June lows.
Across the region markets have been holding up well, ever since the European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said that he will do “whatever it takes” to protect the 17-nation currency.
Trade sentiment was buoyed overnight, by a report that showed German growth slowed less than forecast (up 0.3%), as in the second quarter exports and household spending helped to offer some support against the impact of the sovereign-debt crisis on Europe’s largest economy.
Across the eurozone the gross domestic product figures from the major economies beat analyst expectations. In France, GDP data showed that the economy halted in the second quarter, but still exceeded expectations of a 0.1% contraction, while the Eurozone GDP contracted 0.2% in the second quarter, dragged down by a 1.2% decline in Portugal and a 0.4% fall in Spain.
Traders remain in a holding pattern, awaiting action from the ECB.
In London the FTSE 100 index closed up 0.6% (or 33 points) at 5,865, the German DAX was closed up 0.9% (or 65 points) at 6,974, while in France the CAC closed up 0.7% (or 24 points) at 3,450 and Spain closed up 0.9%.
Asian stock markets traded higher yesterday, as investors anticipate action from central banks globally.
The Japanese market rose, led by the utilities and commercial services sectors, after minutes from the Bank of Japan (BoJ) revealed that they are considering easing measures.
In China the SSE Composite closed up 0.3% (or 6 points) at 2,142, while in Hong Kong the Hang Seng Index closed up 1.0% (or 210 points) at 20,292, and in Japan the Nikkei 225 Index was up 0.5% (or 45 points) at 8,929, South Korean KOSPI closed up 1.3% for the session, while the Indian market closed up 0.5%.
The Dollar Index was higher at 82.55 on a lower Euro, while the Australian Dollar last traded higher at 1.049. Commodities prices traded generally higher.
For the session the Benchmark crude NYMEX for August delivery was up 0.8% settled at $US93.43. Copper prices are looking for key support level as Copper for August delivery was up 0.2% at $US3.359, while August Gold was down -0.6% (or -$US10.20) at $US1,602.
ASX News Today
ANN- Ansell the medical gloves and condoms maker says it expects to lift its earnings in the 2013 financial year and remains on the look out for more acquisitions.
ANZ – ANZ bank is before the High Court, over overcharging of fees for over-the-limit credit cards, overdrawn accounts and dishonour fees.
DMP – Domino’s Pizza has posted a 26 percent rise in full year profit on stronger sales and rising store numbers.
GFF – Goodman Fielder the food company, has posted another full year loss and says challenging trading conditions in the baking and spreads sector will continue.
GWT – GWA Group the bathroom and kitchen supplier, has called on governments to encourage people into the housing market by cutting unnecessary regulations.
NAB – National Bank (NAB) made a $1.2 billion profit in the three months to June, while its revenue dropped because of higher funding costs and weak financial markets.
SGT – SingTel the Telecoms carrier Optus has suffered a fall in earnings and revenue during the first quarter of its financial year.
Echo Entertainment (EGP)
Primary Health (PRY)
SMS Management (SMX)
ASX – to open lower
US & UK/Europe – flat
By Michael Hevern
Head of Research
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