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Global Market Report - 19 February

Australians shares are poised for a cautious open after US markets and oil slid overnight on a coronavirus scare.


Australians shares are poised for a cautious open after US markets and oil slid overnight on a coronavirus scare.

The SPI200 futures contract was up 10 points, or 0.14 per cent, at 7056 at 7am Sydney time.

Oil prices tumbled and global equity markets fell after Apple Inc said it was unlikely to meet its sales guidance because of the coronavirus outbreak in China.

Locally the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index had closed Tuesday down 11.4 points, or 0.16 per cent, at 7113.7, while the broader All Ordinaries index dropped 12.9 points, or 0.18 per cent, to 7208.3.

On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 165.89 points, or 0.56 per cent, to 29,232.19, the S&P 500 lost 0.29 per cent, and the Nasdaq Composite added 0.02 per cent.

The Australian dollar was buying US66.87 cents at 7am, down from US66.91 cents at the market closed on Tuesday.


China's blue-chip stocks ended lower on Tuesday as Apple warned that it was unlikely to meet its March quarter sales forecast as the coronavirus slowed production and weakened demand in China.

The blue-chip CSI300 index closed 0.5 per cent lower, with its financial sector sub-index shedding 1 per cent. The Shanghai Composite index was flat at 2,984.97.

Manufacturing facilities in China that produce Apple's iPhone and other electronics have begun to reopen, but they are ramping up more slowly than expected, Apple said. That will mean fewer iPhones available for sale around the world.

Hong Kong stocks fell on Tuesday as Apple Inc's revenue warning due to slow production and weaker demand in virus-hit China took a toll on technology stocks.

At the close of trade, the Hang Seng index was down 429.40 points, or 1.5 per cent, at 27,530.20. The Hang Seng China Enterprises index fell 1.4 per cent to 10,805.15.

Around the region, MSCI's Asia ex-Japan stock index was weaker by 1.04 per cent, while Japan's Nikkei index closed down 1.4 per cent.


European shares dropped on Tuesday as a revenue warning from Apple hammered iPhone parts makers and underlined the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on global supply chains.

However, the pan-European STOXX 600 index ended off session lows helped by defensive buying as well as merger activity among Italian banks.

Milan shares closed at their highest in over a decade as Intesa Sanpaolo's 4.86 billion euro ($5.26 billion) bid for smaller rival UBI Banca sparked hopes of much-awaited consolidation among other Italian banks.

Italy’s banking index jumped 1.6 per cent to close at a 1½-year high, with UBI Banca soaring 24 per cent.

Stock markets globally slid on Tuesday after Apple said it would miss its March-quarter sales outlook due to the epidemic, which has killed over 1,800 people and forced businesses to shut operations.

After falling up to 0.9 per cent during the session, the STOXX 600 closed 0.4 per cent lower, retreating from Monday’s record highs.

Shares of AMS, Dialog Semiconductor and STMicroelectronics NV, which supply components to Apple, fell over 1.2 per cent. Other chipmakers also dropped, taking Europe’s technology index down 0.7 per cent.

Germany's Infineon said it has so far seen only a minor impact on business from the virus. Its shares were down 2.2 per cent, while Frankfurt's main index fell 0.8 per cent.

Other China-exposed sectors such as automobile and basic materials were the worst hit on the day.

Miner BHP Group dropped 1.4 per cent after missing half-year profit estimates and flagging a risk from the coronavirus outbreak, while Glencore slid 4.5 per cent after posting its first annual loss since 2015.

Renault shares slipped 6 per cent after a UBS price target cut. The company had announced cost cuts last week.

British lender HSBC Holdings slid 6.6 per cent after it said it would shed $100 billion in assets and cut 35,000 jobs over three years as part of a reorganization. It also said the coronavirus epidemic had significantly impacted staff and customers.

On the data front, a survey on Tuesday showed German investor morale deteriorated far more than expected in February on worries of the outbreak impacting world trade. Manufacturing PMIs from the eurozone on Friday will be keenly watched for more insights into the economic fallout from the epidemic.

Defensive sectors such as utilities and real estate were among the few gainers.

Among bright spots, food ingredients company Kerry Group touched an all-time high after saying it hopes to return its five Chinese factories to full capacity within weeks.

North America

The Dow and S&P 500 were lower on Tuesday afternoon as a sales warning from tech bellwether Apple highlighted the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on global supply chains.

But indexes were well off their lows of the day and the Nasdaq edged higher as Apple Inc trimmed its losses.

The world’s most valuable technology firm said it would fall short of its recently announced quarterly sales target because of slower iPhone production and weaker demand in China. Its shares were last down 1.8 per cent.

Apple suppliers, Qualcomm Inc, Broadcom Inc, Qorvo Inc and Skyworks Solutions Inc , were slightly lower.

China-exposed chipmakers slipped, with the Philadelphia SE Semiconductor index shedding 1.3 per cent, while the broader S&P technology sector lost 0.3 per cent.

While the exact hit to economic and earnings growth from the epidemic in China remains to be seen, hopes that the damage would only be temporary have helped Wall Street’s main indexes climb to record highs in recent sessions.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 141.09 points, or 0.48 per cent, to 29,256.99, the S&P 500 lost 7.08 points, or 0.21 per cent, to 3,373.08 and the Nasdaq Composite added 9.89 points, or 0.1 per cent, to 9,741.06.

Walmart Inc shares rose 1.6 per cent even after the world’s biggest retailer forecast slowing online growth for the year and reported weak results for the holiday quarter.

Conagra Brands Inc shed 5.4 per cent after the packaged food company lowered its full-year profit and sales outlook.

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