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Market Opener – 05 Jan 2018

Local Markets Commentary
The Australian market commences Friday trade on positive international equities and key commodities leads, ahead of domestic trade figures and influential data for the US and euro zone tonight. 

In overnight commodities trade, oil and US gold futures continued higher. Iron ore (China port, 62% Fe) rallied to a seven-month peak. 

LME copper, nickel and aluminium turned higher. 

The $A appreciated to ~US78.60c, after vacillating again early yesterday evening, trading at ~US78.50c before falling below US78.45c.

Locally today, November trade statistics are due 11.30am AEDST.

During the weekend, China is scheduled to release December foreign reserves.

Overseas Market Commentary
Most major European and US equities again opened in risk-on mode overnight, key US indices achieving further new record peaks amid a significant north east coastal winter storm. 

Areas available for offshore-US petroleum drilling were reported to be about to be significantly expanded, and a $US index eased.

China’s December services PMI, as calculated by Caixin and published earlier yesterday, represented notable sector growth. 

Japan’s manufacturing PMI had also pleased.

In the euro zone, final December PMIs (services 56.6; composite 58.1) also supported optimism.

The UK’s December services PMI rose 0.4 for the month to 54.2, and November mortgage lending exceeded expectations.

December house prices were estimated 2.6% higher on an annual basis following 0.6% growth for the month.

US data releases again delivered encouraging figures, a private sector employment agency estimating 250,000 jobs were created in December, 50,000 more than many forecasters were anticipating. 

A job cuts reports revealed 7.4% fewer planned layoffs in December than for November. Total 2017 layoffs (~419,000) came in fewer than any tally since 1990.

Weekly new unemployment claims rose by 3000, and the four-week moving average by 3500, attributed to seasonal factors.

Tonight in the US, December employment statistics are keenly anticipated. 

Other influential reports due for release include ISM’s December services sector index, November trade figures and November factory orders.

In the euro zone, an initial December CPI reading is due.

Constellation Brands is among companies scheduled to report earnings. 

In overnight corporate news, Volkswagen announced a self-drive car research agreement with Aurora, and the planned release of test vehicles before year’s end. 

Intel Corp and other chip makers suffered from a reported security flaw in Intel chips, the remedy for which could slow speeds.

Tesla was also pushed lower on revelations of lower-than-anticipated deliveries of the latest electric vehicle.

In the UK, department store Debenhams issued a profit warning, damaging risk sentiment.

Meanwhile, Westinghouse Electric was reported to be as good as sold to Brookfield Business Partners for $US4.6B.

US marijuana-related stocks were sold down on reports less onerous community-use laws, introduced by the previous national administration, would be rescinded.
5/01/2018 6:57:00 AM

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