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Global Market Report - 14 June

Glenn Freeman  |  14 Jun 2019Text size  Decrease  Increase  |  
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Australia

The ASX is expected to open higher after a positive lead from Wall Street, which ended two days of declines after energy shares rebounded following suspected oil tanker attacks in the Middle East.

The SPI200 futures contract was up 9 points, or 0.14 per cent, at 6,555.0 at 7am Sydney time, suggesting a small rise for the benchmark S&P/ASX200 on Friday.

The S&P/ASX 200 Index yesterday fell 1.3 points, or 0.02 per cent,  to 6542.4 while the broader All Ordinaries lost 9.8 points, or 0.2 per cent, to end the session at 6619.1.

Share prices initially rallied on the back of June's labour force data announcement, but pulled back again before the end of the session.

Wall Street finished higher, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average up 0.39 per cent, the S&P 500 up 0.41 per cent and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite up 0.57 per cent.

Oil prices spiked overnight after mysterious attacks on two tankers in the Gulf of Oman that US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo blamed on Iranian authorities.

The Aussie dollar is buying 69.15 US cents from 69.09 US cents on Thursday.

Asia

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China stocks recovered from early losses to end steady on Thursday on hopes Beijing will roll out further measures to bolster the economy amid a bruising trade war with Washington.

The Shanghai Composite Index closed flat at 2,910.74 points, while the blue-chip CSI300 was down slightly to 3,685.39.

In Hong Kong, share prices recovered most of its early losses and ended only slightly lower on Thursday amid street protests, thanks to gains in real estate firms and mainland money flows.

Mainland China home builders listed on the Hang Seng property and construction index were the primary gainers ­-  Sunac China, China Evergrande and Country Garden all climbed more than 3 per cent as Beijing talked up policies to support the economy.

The benchmark Hang Seng index dropped as much as 1.8 per cent before ending 0.1 per cent lower at 27,294.71, while the China Enterprises Index ended 0.2 per cent lower at 10,472.44, also recovering from earlier losses.

Around the region, the MSCI Asia ex-Japan stock index was weaker by 0.36 per cent, while Japan’s Nikkei index closed down 0.5 per cent to 21,032 points.

Japan's chip-related companies led the Nikkei's decline, as their US counterparts tumbled while the US-China trade dispute and geopolitical risks dampened sentiment

Tokyo Electron dived 4.2 per cent and Advantest Corp sinking 5 per cent, after the Philadelphia Semiconductor index dropped 2.3 per cent, as Micron Technology Inc and Applied Materials Inc both slumped more than 5 per cent.

Europe

European stocks ended slightly higher on Thursday, helped earlier on by gains among mining and metal stocks, even as concerns over the latest Middle East tanker attack continuing U.S.-China trade tensions knocked investor sentiment.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index closed 0.16 per cent higher, having earlier climbed nearly half a percent aided by surge in telecom and oil stocks.

The basic resources index of commodities-linked companies climbed 1.7 per cent as prices of copper and other metals rose.

Europe's largest copper producer Aurubis AG and British plumbing products producer Ferguson Plc were the index's biggest faller and gainer, moving down 8 per cent and up 5.9 per cent, respectively.

Italy’s FTSE MIB and Germany’s DAX index outperformed, up 0.8 per cent and 0.4 per cent, while Britain’s FTSE 100 was flat.

The euro remained largely flat at $US1.1293 ($A1.6339), having taken a hit on Wednesday after Trump said he was considering sanctions over Russia's Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline project and warned Germany against being dependent on Russia for energy.

North America

US stocks rose after two days of declines, with the S&P energy index rising the most among the 11 major S&P sectors.

Suspected attacks on two tankers off the coast of Iran have seen oil markets erupt out of their recent slump and kept traders gobbling up ultra-safe government bonds, gold and the Japanese yen.

Brent surged as much 4 per cent on Thursday after reports of the attacks added to the already-heightened tensions between Iran and the United States.

The area is near the Strait of Hormuz through which a fifth of global oil consumption passes from Middle East producers.

Brent crude futures settled up $US1.34, or 2.23 per cent, at $US61.31, having risen as much as 4.5 per cent to $US62.64.

US West Texas Intermediate crude futures were up $US1.14, or 2.23 per cent, at $US52.28 a barrel.

In other parts of the US share market, investors will be looking to what Fed policymakers will say after their next policy meeting on 18-19 June, with Fed Funds rate futures pricing in a 25-basis-point rate cut for the subsequent policy review on 30-31 July.

That is completely at odds with the Fed's projection three months ago, when policy makers saw gradual rate hikes in coming years.

The 10-year US Treasuries yield dipped to 2.103 per cent, near Friday's 2.053 per cent, its lowest level since September 2017.

is senior editor for Morningstar Australia

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