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Global Market Report - 9 April

Lex Hall  |  09 Apr 2021Text size  Decrease  Increase  |  
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Australian shares are set to slip despite a record high on Wall Street as softer job figures lifted growth stocks.

The Australian SPI 200 futures contract was down 16 points, or 0.2 per cent, at 6943 points at 8.30am Sydney time on Friday, suggesting a negative start to trading.

The S&P 500 closed at a record high on Thursday, as US Treasury yields fell following softer-than-anticipated labour market data, boosting technology and other growth stocks.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 57.31 points, or 0.17 per cent, to 33,503.57, the S&P 500 gained 17.22 points, or 0.42 per cent, to 4,097.17 and the Nasdaq Composite added 140.47 points, or 1.03 per cent, to 13,829.31.

Locally, the Morrison government has confirmed it is working on a back-up plan to keep Sanjeev Gupta’s Whyalla steelworks afloat, after a move by creditors to seize control of his local industrial operations, The Australian reports.

Australia's main share market index briefly rose higher than 7000 points yesterday, then closed at its highest level since the coronavirus crash.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index closed up 70.8 points, or 1.02 per cent, to 6998.8.

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The index rose as high as 7012.4 just after 1130 AEST, before easing.

The index has closed at its highest level since the market plunged in February last year, as investors hurriedly sold shares as the pandemic unfolded.

The All Ordinaries on Thursday closed higher by 72.9 points, or 1.02 per cent, to 7250.3 points.

Gold was up 1.0 per cent at $US1754.92 an ounce; Brent oil was up 0.2 per cent to $US63.28 a barrel; Iron ore was down 0.3 per cent to $US173.10 a tonne.

Meanwhile, the Australian dollar was buying 76.52 US cents at 8.30am, up from 76.35 US cents at Thursday's close.


China shares rose on Thursday. Healthcare shares led the gains as the country ramped up vaccination efforts amid the emergence of a new cluster of infections.

At the close, the Shanghai Composite index was up 0.08 per cent at 3,482.55.

The blue-chip CSI300 index was up 0.17 per cent, with its healthcare sub-index up 1.74 per cent and the consumer staples sector up 0.97 per cent.

MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index rose by 0.51 per cent, while Japan’s Nikkei index closed down 0.07 per cent.


European stocks hit record highs on Thursday as optimism grew around a global stimulus-fuelled economic rebound after the US Federal Reserve signalled it was in no hurry to tighten its monetary policy.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 0.6 per cent, adding to gains notched earlier this week when the index erased all of its pandemic-driven losses.

Fed officials remain wary about the ongoing risks of the coronavirus pandemic and are committed to bolstering the economy until its recovery is more secure, minutes of the central bank’s latest policy meeting released on Wednesday showed.

“A dovish set of meeting minutes from the Federal Reserve has further reassured investors that Jay Powell and the gang won’t be turning off the stimulus taps any time soon,” Connor Campbell, an analyst at Spredex, wrote in a morning note.

European Central Bank policymakers at their meeting last month debated a smaller increase in bond purchases and agreed to front-load the buying this quarter on condition it could be cut later if conditions allow, the accounts of their meeting showed.

Data showed German industrial orders rose for the second month in a row in February, driven by strong domestic demand—a further sign that manufacturers are set to cushion a pandemic-related drop in overall output in the first quarter.

European economies are holding up well despite a third wave of the pandemic, according to Mark Haefele, chief investment officer of global wealth management at UBS.

“With more vaccines becoming available from Q2, which should allow a sustainable reopening, we continue to expect a sharp rebound in the latter half of 2021, supported by high levels of savings, pent-up demand, and accommodative monetary and fiscal policy.”

Investors broadly looked past news that several European countries had announced restrictions on the use of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine in younger people, after a link was found to very rare blood clots.

The Anglo-Swedish drugmaker’s shares climbed 2.0 per cent.

Holland-based technology investor Prosus NV rose slightly after it sold 2 per cent of China’s Tencent Holdings Ltd for $14.7 billion in the world’s largest-ever block trade.

Chemicals maker Johnson Matthey gained 1.5 per cent after it forecast annual profit at the top end of market expectations and said it had started a strategic review of its health business.

North America

The S&P 500 closed at a record high on Thursday, as US Treasury yields fell following softer-than-anticipated labour market data, boosting technology and other growth stocks.

Weekly initial jobless claims data showed a second straight rise, conflicting with the recent payrolls report, and buttressed the Federal Reserve’s dovish policy stance to keep interest rates lower for a substantial period.

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell signalled on Wednesday the central bank is nowhere near reducing support for the US economy, saying an expected rise in prices this year is likely to be temporary.

The softer data helped yields on the benchmark 10-year US Treasury note fall as low as 1.624 per cent, its lowest level since 26 March, as it continues to back away from a 14-month high of 1.776 per cent hit in late March.

“Wall Street rewards growth, that doesn’t mean value names will never go up, they will go up because they have more growth prospects than their neighbours, that is what this whole thing is predicated on,” said Kim Forrest, chief investment officer at Bokeh Capital Partners in Pittsburgh.

“It was kind of ridiculous that bond yields were preceding runaway inflation and that was not the case, so tech lives another day.”

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 57.31 points, or 0.17 per cent, to 33,503.57, the S&P 500 gained 17.22 points, or 0.42 per cent, to 4,097.17 and the Nasdaq Composite added 140.47 points, or 1.03 per cent, to 13,829.31.

The recent pullback in yields has helped high growth names such as those in technology, the sector that posted the session’s biggest rise. Megacap stocks such as Apple, Microsoft and Amazon were the biggest boosts to the S&P 500.

The gains sent the tech-heavy Nasdaq to a seven-week high and within 2 per cent of its 12 February record closing high.

The Russell 1000 growth index, which consists heavily of tech-related stocks, gained 1.05 per cent. Its value counterpart, comprising mostly financials and energy names, edged 0.05 per cent lower.

Trading activity has tapered off, with the four lowest volume days of the year occurring this week ahead of first-quarter earnings season next week with results from big US banks on tap. Analysts have raised expectations for first-quarter S&P 500 earnings increase to 24.2 per cent, according to Refinitiv IBES data as of April 1, versus 21 per cent forecast on 5 February.

Tesla Inc advanced 1.91 per cent on the Joe Biden administration’s US$174 billion ($227 billion) proposal to boost electric vehicles.

US shares of Canopy Growth Corp dropped 4.81 per cent on a deal to buy rival Supreme Cannabis Co Inc for C$323.3 million ($336 million), as the world’s biggest cannabis producer bolstered its portfolio to tap surging demand.

With Reuters

is senior editor for Morningstar Australia

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