Market Opener – 12 Feb 2019
Local Markets Commentary
The Australian market commences today’s trade with new data in hand from China, sharply higher iron ore prices, and mixed overnight international equities sentiment, while awaiting comments out of US-China trade talks in Beijing.
In addition, a speech from the Bank of England’s governor is keenly anticipated tonight following concerning key UK data reported overnight.
US Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell is also expected to speak publicly tonight, but not until US markets are nearing settlement.
Yesterday evening China reported January foreign exchange reserves had risen during the month from $US3.07 trillion to $US3.09 trillion.
In overnight commodities trade, oil turned and fell.
US gold futures (April) swung lower.
Iron ore (China port, 62% Fe) soared beyond $US90.50/t.
LME copper and nickel fell.
The $A declined further, to ~US70.60c after trading below ~US70.95c early yesterday evening.
Locally today, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) publishes a new publication outlining December lending finance 11.30am AEDT.
NAB releases its monthly business survey report also at 11.30am.
A weekly consumer sentiment reading is due pre-trade.
In addition, GXL (suspended due to acquisition), GUD and IAG trade ex-dividend today. Please see pp3-4 for details.
Post-trade, the Reserve Bank of Australia publishes debit and credit card statistics.
Regionally, some economists have scheduled China’s January foreign direct investment release for 2.30pm AEDT today.
Overseas Market Commentary
Trade varied notably across major European and US equities markets overnight, mostly on regional considerations, but also following both US trade talk optimism and regional military activity criticism out of China yesterday.
US markets opened higher, but soon trended lower, whereas European indices largely maintained positive trade, despite a marked FTSE late first half drop.
The UK released a swag of influential economic indicators, including December quarter GDP growth which rose just 0.2% for the three months following a 0.4% December monthly pullback.
Year-on-year, quarterly GDP rose 1.3% and December GDP 1%.
December industrial production fell 0.5% for the month and 0.9% year-on-year.
December construction output dropped 2.4% year-on-year, following a 1.8% November rise.
The December trade deficit improved however, to £3.23B from £3.62B in November.
In the US, a consumer inflation expectations index slipped to 2.97% from 3.00%.
Tonight in the US, Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell is scheduled to speak publicly (commencing the last 15 minutes of US trade).
Among data releases, a treasury budget update, business optimism index and December job openings are expected.
Meanwhile, US investors remain focused on any further clues regarding budget talks aiming to avert another partial government services shut down from midnight this coming Friday.
Elsewhere, Bank of England governor Mark Carney is scheduled to speak publicly.
Companies scheduled to report earnings later today or tonight include: Activision Blizzard, Inpex, LG Display, Nissan Motor, PG&E, Thyssenkrupp, TripAdvisor, TUI and Weibo.
In overnight corporate news, US insurer Loews reported a year-on-year swing to a $US165M December quarter loss.
Tesla benefited ~2% from a buy recommendation.