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Global Market Report - 15 April

Emma Rapaport  |  15 Apr 2021Text size  Decrease  Increase  |  
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Australia

Australian shares are set to open lower, delaying a potential record high reset, as US stocks pulled back even as major banks there far exceeded earnings expectations. 

ASX futures were down 38 points or 0.6 per cent to 6,955 near 7am AEST, suggesting a negative start to trading.

In contrast, the currency rallied 1.1 per cent to top US77¢. The yield on the US 10-year note edged up 2 basis points to 1.63 per cent near 5pm in New York.

Wall Street indexes closed mixed on Wednesday, with the Nasdaq Composite and S&P 500 falling despite another record intraday high for the latter and big banks’ stellar results on the first day of earnings season.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 53.62 points, or 0.16 per cent, to 33,730.89; and the S&P 500 lost 16.93 points, or 0.41 per cent, at 4,124.66.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index closed Wednesday up 46.2 points, or 0.66 per cent, to its highest mark since the coronavirus crash, 7,023.1.

The previous best close since February last year was as recently as Thursday, at 6,998.8.
Yet on Wednesday investors were happy for the index to close higher than 7000 points, and appear to have momentum to push higher.

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The ASX200's record close is 7,162.49, set on February 20 last year, just before investors hurriedly sold shares due to fear of the coronavirus.

The All Ordinaries closed higher by 49.6 points, or 0.69 per cent, to 7,280.6 points.

All sectors were up. Information technology was best, up 2.05 per cent.

Major sectors health and materials gained more than one per cent.

In mining, BHP rose 0.7 per cent to $46.01. Rio Tinto climbed by the same percentage to $114.33. Fortescue lost 0.59 per cent to $20.24.

In banking, NAB had the biggest move of the big four banks. It lost 0.26 per cent to $26.72.

On the market, energy producers Santos and Woodside will have annual general meetings.
The Bank of Queensland will announce its first-half earnings.

Gold was down 0.5 per cent at $US1,736.84 an ounce; Brent crude was up 4.3 per cent to $US66.38 a barrel; Iron ore was up 0.2 per cent to $US173.54 a tonne.

Meanwhile, the Australian dollar was buying 77.24 US cents at 7:00am, up from 76.46 this time yesterday.

Asia

China shares rose on Wednesday, with IT firms leading the gains, as investors cheered internet platform companies pledging to avoid anti-competitive behaviours after e-commerce giant Alibaba was fined a record $2.75 billion last week for such practices.

At the close, the Shanghai Composite index was up 0.6 per cent at 3,416.72, while the blue-chip CSI300 index was up 0.83 per cent.

China’s exports grew strongly in March on improving global demand as COVID-19 vaccinations progress, and import growth hit a four-year high, data showed on Tuesday, adding to signs of a solidifying recovery in the world’s second-largest economy.

Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was firmer by 0.96 per cent, while Japan’s Nikkei index closed down 0.44 per cent.

At the close of trade, the Hang Seng index was up 403.58 points or 1.42 per cent at 28,900.83.

Europe

European stocks rose on Wednesday on upbeat earnings from software firm SAP and French luxury goods maker LVMH, while German shares lagged after sources said the country’s economic institutes cut 2021 GDP forecast.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 0.2 per cent, closing just 0.2 per cent shy of record highs, as an impressive bounce-back in sales saw LVMH scale a record high, spurring gains in other luxury names.

Germany’s DAX index ended 0.2 per cent lower. Economic institutes will cut their joint 2021 growth forecast for Europe’s largest economy to 3.7 per cent from 4.7 per cent, sources said, due to a longer than expected COVID-19 lockdown.

Earnings for companies listed on the STOXX 600 are expected to jump 55.7 per cent in the first quarter, according to Refinitiv IBES data, more than the 47.4 per cent rise forecast a week earlier.

Britain’s biggest retailer Tesco fell 2 per cent after reporting a 20 per cent drop in full-year pretax profit, while British airline easyJet rose 5.8 per cent after saying it expected to start to fly more from late May.

North America

Wall Street indexes closed mixed on Wednesday, with the Nasdaq Composite and S&P 500 falling despite another record intraday high for the latter and big banks’ stellar results on the first day of earnings season.

The S&P 500 financials sector was one of the first quarter’s best performers, rising 15 per cent even as the Federal Reserve pledged to keep interest rates low in the near future. It rose 0.7 per cent on Wednesday.

Shares of Goldman Sachs Group Inc and Wells Fargo & Co rose 2.3 per cent and 5.5 per cent respectively on bumper first-quarter profits.

The S&P 500 energy sector was the largest gainer among the 11 sub-indexes, advancing 2.9 per cent as it tracked higher oil prices.

Coinbase Global Inc jumped upon its listing on the Nasdaq on Wednesday, at one point hitting $429.54 per share versus a reference price of $250. The cryptocurrency exchange closed at $328.28.

Cryptocurrency and blockchain-related firms including Riot Blockchain and Marathon Digital Holdings fell 15.4 per cent and 15.8 per cent respectively, after soaring ahead of Coinbase’s debut and as bitcoin hit a record high of over $63,000 on Tuesday.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 53.62 points, or 0.16 per cent, to 33,730.89; and the S&P 500 lost 16.93 points, or 0.41 per cent, at 4,124.66.

The Nasdaq Composite dropped 138.26 points, or 0.99 per cent, to 13,857.84, weighed by technology-related stocks including Apple Inc, Microsoft Corp and Tesla Inc.

With Reuters

is the editorial manager for Morningstar Australia. Connect with Emma on Twitter @rap_reports. Email Morningstar's editorial team at editorialAU@morningstar.com

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