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Global Market Report - 29 April

Lewis Jackson  |  29 Apr 2021Text size  Decrease  Increase  |  
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Australia

Australian shares are poised to rise at the open amid optimism for commodity prices. 

The Australian SPI 200 futures contract was up 18 points or 0.3 per cent to 7059 near 7.00am Sydney time on Thursday, suggesting a positive start to trading.

Wall Street ended lower on Wednesday after the US Federal Reserve held interest rates and its monthly bond-buying program steady and gave no sign it was ready to reduce its support for the recovery.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.48 per cent to end at 33,820.38 points, while the S&P 500 lost 0.08 per cent to 4,183.18. The Nasdaq Composite dropped 0.28 per cent, to 14,051.03.

Locally, Australia's share market resumed its climb towards record heights on Wednesday after weaker than expected inflation figures encouraged investors that low interest rates will not rise any time soon.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index closed higher by 30.9 points, or 0.44 per cent, to 7064.7.

The All Ordinaries closed better by 24.5 points, or 0.34 per cent, to 7320.

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CommSec chief economist Craig James said the inflation figures meant the Reserve Bank would keep the cash rate at the record low of 0.1 per cent until 2024.

On the ASX, property shares fared best, higher by 1.45 per cent.

There were gains of more than one per cent for financials and energy.

Materials shares were the only ones lower, by 1.04 per cent. The iron ore price slipped, albeit from an 11-year high.

Developer Mirvac said home sales were on track to better full-year guidance, and rent collection was improving. Shares rose 3.13 per cent to $2.64.

Coles reported its first drop in quarterly sales in more than a decade as spending returned to normal after coronavirus panic buying.

ASX newcomer Airtasker said it would exceed full-year sales estimates in its prospectus, despite only listing in March.

Today, Fortescue will give an update on how much iron ore it dug, and sales, during the March quarter.

Woolworths will give a sales update from the same quarter, as will financial services provider IOOF and property group GPT.

Gold was down 0.1 per cent at $US1774.20 an ounce; Brent crude was up 1.6 per cent to $US67.49 a barrel; Iron ore was down 1.4 per cent to $US192.52 a tonne.

Meanwhile, the Australian dollar was buying 77.92 US cents at 7:00am, up from 77.69 this time Wednesday.

Asia

China shares closed higher on Wednesday, led by electric vehicle and healthcare stocks on the back of strong earnings, while investors waited for a likely politburo meeting later this week.

At the close, the Shanghai Composite index was up 0.42 per cent at 3,457.07, while the blue-chip CSI300 index was up 0.56 per cent.

China is set to report its first population decline since 1949, the Financial Times reported on Tuesday, complicating the challenges faced by policymakers to ensure the country’s long-term economic growth.

Shares in Contemporary Amperex Technology Co Ltd, the world’s biggest battery maker for new energy vehicles, climbed 5.3 per cent after reporting a 22 per cent jump in its 2020 net profit.

At the close of trade, the Hang Seng index was up 129.80 points or 0.45 per cent at 29,071.34.

Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was weaker by 0.1 per cent, while Japan’s Nikkei index closed up 0.21 per cent.

Europe

European stocks ended flat on Wednesday as optimism over a swathe of positive bank earnings was offset by caution setting in before the US Federal Reserve’s policy decision.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index ended largely unchanged, with bank stocks leading gains among the regional sectors. The subindex ended 1.5 per cent higher.

Deutsche Bank jumped 10.7 per cent to the top of the STOXX 600, as strength at its investment bank helped the German lender post a better-than-expected first-quarter net profit.

Spanish bank Santander rose 2.7 per cent after it beat first-quarter forecasts with its profit, while not adding to provisions for the pandemic and booking record US earnings.

Lloyds Banking Group also rose 3.5 per cent after reporting a better-than-expected profit, while Swedish bank SEB marked small gains on a profit beat.

The world’s biggest advertising company WPP jumped 4.3 per cent to the top of the FTSE 100 on returning to underlying growth in the first quarter, as clients launched new products and brands.

North America

Wall Street ended lower on Wednesday after the US Federal Reserve held interest rates and its monthly bond-buying program steady and gave no sign it was ready to reduce its support for the recovery.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.48 per cent to end at 33,820.38 points, while the S&P 500 lost 0.08 per cent to 4,183.18. The Nasdaq Composite dropped 0.28 per cent, to 14,051.03.

Despite the improving economy, the Fed repeated the guidance it has used since December, saying it must see “substantial further progress” towards its inflation and employment goals before stepping back from its monthly bond purchases.

The S&P 500 briefly rose to an intra-day record high after Fed Chair Jerome Powell said in a press conference that it was “not time yet” to discuss reducing the Fed’s support for the recovering economy.

US President Joe Biden is expected to unveil a sweeping $1.8 trillion package for families and education in his first joint speech to Congress on Wednesday, senior White House officials said.

Google parent Alphabet Inc rose 2.9 per cent and closed at a record high after reporting late on Tuesday a record profit for the second consecutive quarter and announcing a $50 billion share buyback.

In extended trade, Facebook jumped nearly 6 per cent after the social media heavyweight reported quarterly revenue that handily beat analysts’ expectations. Investors were also awaiting Apple’s results.

Microsoft Corp’s quarterly report late on Tuesday met sales expectations and beat profit estimates, but its shares fell 2.8 per cent and pressured the Nasdaq due to skepticism about one-off benefits included in the results and high hopes after a year-long rally.

Boeing Co fell 2.9 per cent after posting a wider-than-expected quarterly loss and pausing 737 MAX deliveries over an electrical issue that has partly re-grounded the fleet.

With Reuters

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

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