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Global Market Report - 19 July

Lewis Jackson  |  19 Jul 2022Text size  Decrease  Increase  |  
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Australia

The ASX is set to open lower as Wall Street dipped after Apple’s plans to slow hiring triggered selling amid fears the US economy may slide into a recession.

ASX futures were down 21 points or 0.3% at 6560 as of 8:00am on Tuesday, pointing to a fall at the open.

Overseas, stocks were in the green for much of Monday's session before turning downward in the afternoon. The S&P 500 fell 0.8%. The broad index on Friday ended higher, snapping a five-day losing streak. The blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 0.7%.

The Nasdaq Composite Index shed 0.8% weighed by declines at tech giants, with Apple down 2.1% after Bloomberg reported it plans to slow hiring next year. Google-owner Alphabet and Microsoft, lost 2.5% and 1%, respectively.

"That's some heavy weight for the market to bear," said Steve Sosnick, chief strategist at Interactive Broker. "These are market leaders. These are also companies that set the high end of the pay scale."

Locally, Australia's S&P/ASX 200 closed 1.2% higher at 6687.1 as financial, commodity and tech stocks all rallied at the start of the week.

The financial and materials sectors, which together comprise almost 50% of the ASX 200 by market capitalization, added 1.4% and 2.4%, respectively, as the benchmark index built on Friday's positive momentum from US equities.

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Banks Commonwealth, Westpac and NAB put on between 1.0% and 1.9%, while insurer Suncorp rose 6.1% after agreeing to sell its banking operations to ANZ.

Iron-ore, gold and lithium stocks were all strong, with Rio Tinto, BHP and Fortescue gaining between 2.1% and 3.4%. WiseTech jumped 7.2% as analysts reacted warmly to the software company's guidance upgrade, helping the tech sector add 2.85%.

Commodity markets rallied after weeks of decline: Brent crude oil gained 4.6% to $US105.78 a barrel, gold rose 0.4% to US$1,710.20, economic bellwether copper rose 3.5%. Iron ore was not available.

In local bond markets, the yield on Australian 2 Year government bonds is up 2.62% while the 10 Year also rose to 3.43%. Overseas, the yield on 2 Year US Treasury notes moved up to 3.17% and the yield on the 10 Year US Treasury notes increased to 2.99%.

The Australian dollar is up 0.32% to 68.15 US cents as of 7.30am AEST. The Wall Street Journal Dollar Index, which tracks the US dollar against 16 other currencies fell to 99.42.

Asia

China stocks extended early gains to finish the day higher, helped by infrastructure-related shares. The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index rose 1.6% to 3278.10, the Shenzhen Composite Index gained 1.5% to 2191.96 and the ChiNext Price Index added 1.4% to 2800.36. Sentiment was supported by comments from the PBOC over the weekend, promising more support for the economy, Oanda senior market analyst Jeffrey Halley says in a note. "It appears that behind the scenes, the wheels are turning to engineer a funding vehicle for beleaguered property developers to continue and complete the construction of residential projects," he adds. Shanghai Construction Group gained 1.0% and China Communications Construction advanced 3.1%.

Hong Kong's benchmark Hang Seng Index rebounded 2.7% to 20846.18 after a five-session losing streak. The local market tracked Wall Street's gains on Friday amid easing concerns about the Fed raising interest rates by 100 bps in July. Tech, real estate and energy stocks led gains. Country Garden rose 6.0% and Longfor Group added 4.1% after China's banking regulator moved to address rising financial risks from the property industry. Among the Chinese tech sector, Meituan rose 5.9%, JD.com advanced 3.1% and Tencent Holdings was up 2.3%. PetroChina, Cnooc and Sinopec strengthened 4.3%-5.7% as crude-oil prices climbed higher. BYD Co. was a laggard with a 0.1% decline.

The Japanese share market was closed for public holiday.

Europe

European markets rose as energy-supply concerns boosted oil prices. The pan-European Stoxx Europe 600, and French CAC 40 advanced about 0.9% and the German DAX advanced 0.7% as oil, mining and financial stocks gained.

"The potential for severe disruption to European gas supplies is the major headache right now, although it's far from clear why Russia would play this card and leave itself out of options to influence European governments," IG analyst Chris Beauchamp writes.

"Goldman Sachs's beat on figures gave the market more good news to pin its hopes on," Beauchamp adds.

London’s FTSE 100 gained 1.3%, led by mining and energy shares as oil and metal prices rallied. Mining stocks Antofagasta, Glencore and Rio Tinto are top risers along with energy companies Harbour Energy, Shell and BP.

Despite Monday's rise in London stocks, there's still a "considerable mountain to climb to reverse the declines from earlier in the year," Interactive Investor analyst Richard Hunter writes.

"The FTSE 100 still has a good chance of being one of the first to recover, now down by just over 2% in the year to date, while the FTSE 250 is just out of bear market territory for the time being after a loss of 19%."

North America

US stocks dipped to start the week as investors considered another set of earnings reports from major companies and looked ahead to a slate of key central-bank meetings.

Stocks were in the green for much of Monday's session before turning downward in the afternoon. The S&P 500 fell 0.8%. The broad index on Friday ended higher, snapping a five-day losing streak. The blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 0.7%.

The Nasdaq Composite Index shed 0.8% weighed by declines at tech giants, with Apple down 2.1% after Bloomberg reported it plans to slow hiring next year. Google-owner Alphabet and Microsoft, lost 2.5% and 1%, respectively.

"That's some heavy weight for the market to bear," said Steve Sosnick, chief strategist at Interactive Broker. "These are market leaders. These are also companies that set the high end of the pay scale."

Big financial firms kicked off a bumper week of earnings reports Monday. Goldman Sachs gained $7.39, or 2.5%, to $301.26 after reporting better-than-expected earnings. Synchrony Financial, which reported earnings per share that fell year over year but were better than analysts expected, gained 9 cents, or 0.3%, to $31.48.

Bank of America finished up 1 cent, or less than 1%, after it said second-quarter profits declined 32%. Charles Schwab, which reported second-quarter profits that rose by 42%, lost 94 cents, or 1.5%, to $61.24.

"There's been a couple of pleasant surprises in earnings," said Faron Daugs, chief executive of Harrison Wallace Financial Group, of the latest earnings reports from financial companies.

Investors are trying to reconcile a dire economic outlook with earnings forecasts that remain relatively positive. Economic growth is showing signs of slowing while inflation is soaring, last week reaching a four-decade high. Meanwhile, central banks are raising interest rates rapidly, adding another cloud on the economy's horizon. So far, corporate reports have been lacklustre.

"Either the economic story is wrong or analysts are being too optimistic on earnings, and it feels like the latter," said Altaf Kassam, head of investment strategy for Europe, the Middle East and Africa at State Street Global Advisors. "If you scrape the text of company earnings announcements, many are complaining."

Other companies due to report this week include Johnson & Johnson on Tuesday, Tesla on Wednesday and Twitter on Friday.

"We believe growth is performing a floor here, and this would be mostly the technology sector, but even broader than that," said Ivana Delevska, founder and chief executive of SPEAR Invest, a firm focused on industrial technology companies.

Fresh data from the National Association of Home Builders showed that an index of confidence among US home builders fell 12 points to 55 in July. Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal expected a seventh consecutive monthly decline, but also a stronger reading.

In bond markets, the yield on the benchmark 10-year US Treasury note rose to 2.959% from 2.929% on Friday. Bond yields and prices move in opposite directions.

The European Central Bank is expected to raise interest rates for the first time in 11 years at a meeting Thursday. The region's economy is feeling the effects of the war in Ukraine and an energy crisis more acutely than other economies. The Bank of Japan is expected to buck the trend among global central banks and keep rates unchanged on Thursday.

The Federal Reserve has signalled it will raise interest rates by 0.75 percentage point for the second time in a row later this month.

"I don't see this volatility ending until the Fed at least takes its foot off the brake," said Mr. Sosnick, of Interactive Broker.

is a reporter and data journalist with Morningstar. Tweet him @lewjackk or get in touch via email

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