* US stock markets eased overnight, after Moody’s said the US may face a downgrade.
* European stocks markets started the week on a positive note, hovering around 5-year highs.
* Asian stock markets ended higher yesterday, holding around its 5-year highs.
* Commodities prices higher, Gold prices are trading lower around $US1,384, while crude-oil closed around $US96.
The Aussie market held at 5-year highs, above the 5200 and is looking to open higher today, as stock prices closed higher in Europe, but ended flat in the US.
SPI Futures is trading just above the key level of 5200, ended up 0.1% (or 7 points) at 5,227. The key levels for the ASX200 index today are 5180 to 5270. Expect miners to see some support, as gold rebounded overnight, but gold still held below the $1,400 level and iron ore prices now down over 20% from its February highs.
It will be busy later in the week for economic data with Manufacturing PMI data from Europe and China and from the US FOMC meeting minutes and Trade data.
See below for ASX listed companies in the news today.
US stock markets eased overnight, after Moody’s said the US may face a downgrade.
The three benchmark indexes all ended down -0.1% for the session. The Dow Jones remained around the 15,350 level. The S&P500 again held above the 1660 level at all-time highs and has closed higher for ten of the last thirteen trading sessions (up 17% for the year). Around 200 of the S&P500 stocks are at 52-week highs, the most since 1993. The gains have been broad based as over 85 percent of S&P 500 stocks are trading above their 50 gay moving average, according to Bloomberg (the highest level since 14 March).
The ten S&P sectors ended mixed with gains led by the Energy up sector over 1.4%, followed by Financials and Industrials up 0.2%, while falls were led by Healthcare and Consumer Staple sectors ended down around -0.7%.
Stock prices have been rising since the Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke confirmed that the Fed will continue its unprecedented stimulus until the jobless rate falls to 6.5 percent or inflation rises above 2.5 percent. The S&P 500 has risen for past 6-months without a 5% pullback.
In commodities gold and silver rebounded after Moody’s Investors Service said US policy makers must address debt issues to avoid a credit-rating downgrade this year, sparking buy in the metals as a “safe haven”.
For the session Dow Jones closed down -0.1% at 15,335, the S&P500 closed down -0.1% at 1,666, and the NASDAQ closed down -0.1% at 3,496.
European stocks markets started the week on a positive note, after being up for a fourth week and hovering around 5-year highs.
The Europe Stoxx 600 ended rose 0.3% for the session. The index is up 10% for the year and at its highest level since June 2008. It is clear that the ECB will remain supportive of equities going forward. Across the region the automobile makers again led the gains, rising to their highest level since November 2007 (up over 20% in the past 4-weeks), as vehicle sales increased for the first time in nineteen months. The gains came as Morgan Stanley lifted the European auto sector to overweight from equal weight. Commodity related firms were again weak as metals prices traded in negative territory for most of the session.
The German market held a new all-time high and is up around 11% for the year. In London traders pushed teh FTSE to levels not seen sonce September 2000, after the Bank of England (BoE) said that an economic recovery in the UK is now “in sight”, as it predicted that growth will accelerate to 0.5 percent in the second quarter from 0.3 percent in the first three months of the year.
In the UK the FTSE 100 closed up 0.5% at 6,756, the German DAX 30 closed up 0.7% at 8,456, the French CAC 40 closed up 0.5% at 4,023, while the Italian market closed down -0.6% at 17,507.
Asian stock markets ended higher yesterday after ending higher for a second week, holding around its 5-year highs.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose 0.4% for the session. The index is up 10% for the year and is on track for the longest winning streak since September 2009, on optimism over central bank stimulus, Japan will continuing to deploy more measures to beat deflation and as centrals banks remain supportive in the US and Europe.
In Japan the market rose holding above 15,300 at its highest level since December 2007, as exporters gained on the back of a weaker yen.
The Chinese market again saw some bargain hunting, as the Shanghai Composite is now in the positive for the year, having fallen as much as -9% from its February peak. Property developers were higher after government data showed that housing prices continued to rise in April. In Hong Kong the market also rose as traders speculated the government will not impose additional property curbs as the economy slows.
Of the around 430 companies on the MSCI Asia Pacific Index that reported their latest quarterly results since April, 53 percent have beaten analyst forecasts, according to Bloomberg.
For the session the Chinese Shanghai Composite closed up 0.7% at 2,300, the Hong Kong Hang Seng closed up 1.8% at 23,493, and the Japanese Nikkei closed up 1.5% at 15,361, while the South Korean KOSPI closed down 0.0% at 1,982.
The Dollar Index was higher at 83.77 on a lower Euro, and the Aussie Dollar closed up at 0.9818. Commodities prices traded higher.
Overnight the COMEX WTI Crude for MAY13 delivery closed up 0.7% at $US96.71, the COMEX Copper for May 13 delivery closed up 1.1% at 3.360, the COMEX Gold for JUN13 delivery closed up 1.4% at $US1,384.10.
ASX News Today
BHP – BHP Billiton, new chief executive Andrew Mackenzie has outlined plans to slash capital spending by almost 20%.
GPT – GPT Group the property owner, has sold its 50 percent stake in the Erina Fair shopping centre on the NSW central coast for $397 million.
LEI – Leighton Holdings the construction giant says it’s not concerned about the recent woes of mining services companies due to its diverse business interests and cyclical nature of the industry.
MQG – MacBank increased their hybrid offer from $4oom to $600m due to its popularity.
SGT – Optus says its rollout of its 4G network is expected to reach 70 percent of Australia’s metropolitan population by the middle of 2014.
MAH – Macmahon Holdings the mining services provider shares surged, after it detailed positive growth in a “changing and challenging environment”.
SYD – Sydney Airport has forecast larger distributions for its shareholders as its number of passengers continues to rise.
WBC – Westpac Bank has has dropped its one year fixed home loan rate for new customers to 4.79 per cent.
WES – Wefarmers is off target after Target’s profits have been hit by a late start to winter, which means Target’s EBITDA will plunge by 40% for FY2013.
WOR – Worley Parson joined other mine service companies down grading their profit forecasts, citing a slowdown in Western Australia’s mining industry for its profit downgrade.
ASX – to open higher
US & UK/Europe – US flat, EU higher.
US ADRs – Broadly higher!!…
ANZ +0.4%, NAB 1.4%
BHP +0.6%, RIO +1.3%, NEM 5.4%
By Michael Hevern
D2MX Investment Advisor
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