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Global Market Report - 03 May

Lewis Jackson  |  03 May 2021Text size  Decrease  Increase  |  
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Australia

Australian shares are poised to dip at the start of the week, during which the Reserve Bank will be front and centre.

The Australian SPI 200 futures contract was down 7 points or 0.1 per cent to 6995 near 7.00am Sydney time on Monday, suggesting a negative start to trading.

Wall Street ended lower on Friday, with Amazon, Apple, Alphabet and other tech-related companies weighing on the S&P 500 and Nasdaq despite recent strong quarterly earnings reports.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.54 per cent to end at 33,875.31 points, while the S&P 500 lost 0.72 per cent to 4,181.21. The Nasdaq Composite dropped 0.85 per cent, to 13,962.68.

Locally, Australia's share market had a downbeat finish to a rewarding April for investors, as attention turns to big banks' earnings next week.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index on Friday closed lower by 56.5 points, or 0.8 per cent, to 7025.8.

The All Ordinaries closed down by 55.3 points, or 0.75 per cent, to 7290.7 points.

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The biggest losses were in energy shares - 1.74 per cent.

There were losses of more than one per cent in information technology, materials and health.

Westpac will give its earnings today. ANZ will follow on Wednesday, while NAB is due Thursday.

The Commonwealth will give a third-quarter update the following week.

AMP avoided a second strike and board spill from its pay report.

About 76 per cent of shareholders voted for the pay deal at the annual general meeting, which included retention payments to senior AMP staff and payouts to outgoing chief executive Francesco De Ferrari.

AMP also flagged a restart to its share buyback, put on hold last year.

The big miners were mixed. BHP declined by 1.97 per cent to $47.70, Fortescue rose 0.04 per cent to $22.59 and Rio Tinto dropped 1.68 per cent to $121.15.

On Tuesday, the Reserve Bank board will consider changes to policy settings, including the record low cash rate of 0.1 per cent. Economists do not expect change.

On Thursday, Rio Tinto will have its annual general meeting. Shareholders may pose more questions over the miner's destruction of Aboriginal caves in Western Australia last year.

On Friday, the Reserve Bank will give its statement on monetary policy.

Gold was down 0.2 per cent at $US1769.13 an ounce; Brent crude was down 1.9 per cent to $US67.25 a barrel; Iron ore was down 1.4 per cent to $US188.85 a tonne.
Meanwhile, the Australian dollar was buying 77.16 US cents at 7:00am, down from 77.92 this time Friday.

Asia

China stocks fell on Friday to close the week lower as data showed the country’s factory activity growth slowed in April, while worries over policy tightening and Sino-US tensions continued to weigh on the market.

The blue-chip CSI300 index fell 0.8 per cent to 5,123.49, while the Shanghai Composite Index ended down 0.8 per cent at 3,446.86.

China’s factory activity expanded at a slower pace and missed forecasts in April as supply bottlenecks and rising costs weighed on production and overseas demand lost momentum.

Despite the soft data, analysts and traders said overall solid economic growth allowed Beijing more leeway to rein in bubbles in its financial markets.

China’s economic recovery quickened sharply in the first quarter with record growth of 18.3 per cent, shaking off the hit from last year’s slump.

US President Joe Biden took aim at China in his first speech to Congress, pledging to maintain a strong US military presence in the Indo-Pacific and promising to boost technological development and trade.

The Hang Seng index fell 2 per cent to 28,724.88, while the China Enterprises Index lost 2 per cent to 10,825.25 points.

Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was weaker by 0.93 per cent, while Japan’s Nikkei index closed down 0.83 per cent.

Europe

European stocks ended lower on Friday after dismal GDP data, but marked a third straight month of gains on strong corporate earnings and optimism about an economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The pan-regional STOXX 600 index fell 0.3 per cent, hovering below its all-time high, and ending the month 1.8 per cent higher.

Data showed the euro zone economy dipped into a second technical recession after a smaller than expected contraction in the first quarter, but is now set for recovery as pandemic curbs are lifted amid accelerating vaccination campaigns.

The German economy contracted by a greater-than-expected 1.7 per cent, hit by renewed lockdowns, while the French economy grew more than expected.

AstraZeneca jumped 4.3 per cent as the British drugmaker posted better-than-expected results and forecast second half growth.

Barclays tumbled 7 per cent despite reporting a quarterly profit that more than doubled, while France’s BNP Paribas slipped 0.8 per cent on higher costs.

Spain’s Banco Sabadell jumped 8.7 per cent to the top of the STOXX 600 after its quarterly profit beat market expectations, helped by strength in its British unit TSB.

North America

Wall Street ended lower on Friday, with Amazon, Apple, Alphabet and other tech-related companies weighing on the S&P 500 and Nasdaq despite recent strong quarterly earnings reports.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.54 per cent to end at 33,875.31 points, while the S&P 500 lost 0.72 per cent to 4,181.21. The Nasdaq Composite dropped 0.85 per cent, to 13,962.68.

A day after the S&P 500 closed at a record high, Apple, Google-parent Alphabet and Facebook each gave back gains following upbeat quarterly reports this week.

While megacap favorites posted largely strong earnings in the first quarter, their shares have struggled to maintain the upward trajectory that many had coming into the reporting season.

“There is a sense that maybe next quarter is as good as it’s going to get, and we’re going to roll over, particularly among the Nasdaq stocks and Big Tech stocks that benefited from the pandemic,” said Jack Ablin, chief investment officer at Cresset Wealth Advisors in Palm Beach, Florida.

Seven of the 11 major S&P 500 sector indexes fell, with technology and materials down more than 1 per cent, and energy falling almost 3 per cent.

Data on Friday showed US consumer spending rebounded in March amid a surge in income as households received additional COVID-19 pandemic relief money from the government.

Amazon.com Inc ended down 0.1 per cent after it posted record profit late on Thursday and signaled that consumers would keep spending in a growing US economy. Amazon had been up over 2 per cent earlier in the session.

Twitter Inc plunged 15 per cent after it offered a tepid revenue forecast for the second quarter, saying user growth could slow as the boost seen during the pandemic fizzles.
Chevron Corp dropped 3.6 per cent after its first-quarter profit fell 29 per cent, hit by weaker refining margins and production losses.

With Reuters

is a reporter/data journalist for Morningstar. You can follow Lewis on Twitter @lewjackk

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