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Global Market Report - 21 May

Lex Hall  |  21 May 2019Text size  Decrease  Increase  |  
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Australia

The Australian share market is set to open lower following a post-election surge in stocks yesterday and tensions in the US over Washington’s curbs on Huawei.

At 7am Sydney time, the SPI200 futures contract was down 41 points, or 0.63 per cent, at 6,444.0, suggesting a fall for the benchmark S&P/ASX200.

The Australian sharemarket roared higher, posting its best day in 15 weeks following the coalition's surprise federal election victory.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 110.8 points, or 1.74 per cent, to 6,476.1 points, while the broader All Ordinaries was up 104.5 points, or 1.62 per cent, to 6,564.7.

It was a negative session for Wall Street overnight, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average finishing down 0.33 per cent, the S&P 500 down 0.67 per cent and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite down 1.46 per cent.

The Aussie dollar is buying US69.06 cents from US69.26 cents yesterday.

Out today: the RBA's latest meeting minutes and a midday speech by governor Philip Lowe.

Asia

The Chinese stock market ended lower on Monday as trade tensions between China and the US dragged on, with the focus being fixed on the sticking point of technology transfer.

At the close, the Shanghai Composite index was down 0.4 per cent at 2,870.60, while the blue-chip CSI300 index was lower by 0.9 per cent.

The Hong Kong stock market closed weaker on Monday as Beijing and Washington officials firmed up their rhetoric on trade, while technology companies posted steep losses.

The Hang Seng index was down 0.6 per cent at 27,787.61 points, its lowest close since 8 February.

Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was firmer by 0.6 per cent, while Japan’s Nikkei index closed up 0.2 per cent.

Europe

European stocks recorded broad-based losses on Monday, as a US crackdown on China’s Huawei Technologies rekindled concerns about worsening global trade and wilted the continent’s trade-exposed tech and auto stocks.

Global risk appetite was jolted after Reuters reported Alphabet Inc’s Google suspended some business with Huawei, while Apple supplier Lumentum Holdings Inc said it had discontinued all shipments to Huawei.

The pan-European Euro STOXX 600 fell 1.1 per cent and has shed 3.5 per cent so far in May, on course to post 2019’s first monthly loss, largely on fears of slower growth as trade ties chill.

The volatility gauge on euro zone blue-chips jumped, lifting off Friday’s two-week closing low.

Germany’s DAX dropped 1.6 per cent, while French stocks shed 1.5 per cent. Italian stocks slid 2.7 per cent, weighed on by Intesa Sanpaolo declining as it traded ex-dividend.

Tech stocks were the STOXX 600’s top losers, diving 2.8 per cent. AMS, STMicroelectronics, and ASML were down between 6.3 per cent and 13.4 per cent as fears of a disruption to the industry’s global supply chain grew.

German chipmaker Infineon trimmed intra-day losses to end 4.8 per cent lower after denying a report in Japan’s Nikkei daily that it had suspended deliveries to Huawei.

Stocks of tariff-sensitive carmakers and their suppliers shed 2 per cent to clock their lowest closing level in more than a month and a half.

Banks fell 1.6 per cent, with Deutsche Bank tumbling 2.9 per cent to a record closing low.

The New York Times on Sunday reported anti-money laundering specialists at the German lender recommended in 2016 and 2017 multiple transactions involving entities controlled by US President Donald Trump and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, be reported to a federal financial-crimes watchdog.

The newspaper, citing five current and former Deutsche Bank employees, said bank executives rejected their employees’ advice and the reports were never filed with the government. The lender has denied the report.

Telecom stocks were the STOXX 600’s only gaining sub-sector, rising 0.8 per cent. Vodafone Group climbed 1.7 per cent on the day, after recording its lowest closing level in close to 10 years on Friday.

North America

US stocks slid on Monday as the White House’s restrictions on Chinese telecoms equipment maker Huawei Technologies weighed on the technology sector and raised concerns that the move would further inflame trade tensions between the US and China.

Since the White House added Huawei to a trade blacklist last week, several companies have suspended business with the world’s largest telecom equipment maker. Alphabet Inc’s Google has moved to stop providing Huawei with access to its proprietary apps and services, Reuters reported on Sunday. Mobile phone parts producer Lumentum Holdings Inc also announced that it has discontinued shipments to Huawei.

Other chipmakers, including Intel Corp, Qualcomm Inc, Xilinx Inc and Broadcom Inc, will not supply the Chinese company until further notice, according to a Bloomberg report.

S&P 500 technology stocks dropped 1.75 per cent, the largest percentage decline among the benchmark index’s 11 major sectors. The Philadelphia Semiconductor Index, which includes Huawei suppliers Qualcomm, Broadcom and Micron Technology Inc, tumbled 4 per cent to hit its lowest level in more than two months.

Apple slumped 3.1 per cent, making them the biggest drag on Wall Street’s major indexes. The iPhone maker’s shares were also pressured after HSBC warned that higher prices for the company’s products following the latest increases in tariffs could have “dire consequences” on demand.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 84.1 points, or 0.33 per cent, to 25,679.9, the S&P 500 lost 19.3 points, or 0.67 per cent, to 2,840.23, and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 113.91 points, or 1.46 per cent, to 7,702.38.

After touching record highs at the beginning of May, Wall Street’s main indexes have succumbed to selling pressure on mounting concerns about a prolonged US-China trade war. The S&P 500 is on track to post its worst monthly decline since the December sell-off, trading nearly 4 per cent below its all-time high.

Among gainers, shares of Sprint Corp and T-Mobile US Inc rose after Federal Communication Commission Chairman Ajit Pai came out in favor of the merger of the two telecom companies. Sprint and T-Mobile pared gains, however, after Bloomberg reported that the U.S. Department of Justice was leaning against approving the deal.

Still, Sprint shares ended 18.8 per cent higher while T-Mobile shares rose 3.9 per cent.

Dish Network Corp shares declined 5.9 per cent after the company said it would buy broadcast satellite service assets from EchoStar Corp in an $800 million deal, though the shares pared losses in afternoon trading.

 

is content editor for Morningstar Australia

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