Local Markets Commentary
The Australian market opens an Easter-shortened week’s trade with new positive data out of China, and influential regional, domestic and international data and corporate reports expected through the week.
Post-ASX trade Friday, China reported new lending rose to 1690B yuan in March, from 885.8B in February.
In overnight Friday commodities trade, oil swung higher
US gold futures (June) turned to settle slightly higher.
LME copper turned and rallied.
The $A appreciated a little beyond US71.70c, after trading at US71.55c early Friday evening.
Regionally today, China is expected by some to continue to report March figures, specifically foreign direct investment.
Regionally this week, a general election in Indonesia, scheduled for Wednesday, will be watched closely.
Locally today, a weekly capital city residential property price report is due pre-trade.
A spurt of domestic March quarter updates is anticipated through Thursday.
NB The ASX will trade for just seven sessions across this week and next. This week, markets in Australia, Hong Kong and New Zealand will be closed Friday, for Easter.
Overseas Market Commentary
Major European and US equities headed higher early in overnight Friday trade, in part buoyed by quarterly earnings reports from large US financial stocks that exceeded expectations.
Earlier Friday, China had reported a larger-than-anticipated jump in March exports and hence trade balance, supporting early oil trade.
The European Union (EU) in the meantime was reportedly planning to raise tariffs for goods imported from the US by $US12B following the US president’s broadened import tax threats earlier in the week.
Overnight Friday, the $US had traded at its least against the euro in two weeks.
US data included March export prices, which rose 0.7% for the month and 0.6% year-on-year, against 0.7% and 0.3% respective February figures.
Import prices were flat year-on-year and up 0.6% for the month following a 0.8% February year-on-year drop and 1% February monthly gain.
The University of Michigan preliminary April consumer sentiment reading was estimated at 96.9, from 98.4 in March.
Earlier, the euro zone’s February industrial production was reported to have declined 0.2% for the month after rising 1.9% during January.
Year-on-year, output was down 0.3%, against a 0.7% January fall.
Tonight in the US, the New York Fed publishes a regional manufacturing index.
Stocks scheduled to report earnings include Citigroup and Goldman Sachs.
In overnight Friday corporate news, Chevron announced plans to outlay a combined ~$US30B worth of cash (25%) and shares (75%) to acquire Anadarko Petroleum. This pushed Anadarko ~30% higher.
Chevron’s offer valued Anadarko at $US65/share, but another proposal, valuing the company at $US70/share was reportedly also submitted Friday, by Occidental Petroleum.
JPMorgan Chase quarterly figures came in better-than-anticipated, buoying the finance sector and sentiment in general.
Wells Fargo also pleased with quarterly results, but issued a warning regarding net interest income, predicting this could come in 2% - 5% lower for the year.
Walt Disney benefited from its post-Thursday US trade streaming service plans.
NB Major European and US markets will be closed Friday for Easter.