Australian Stock Market Report – Morning July 11, 2014

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By Craig James, CommSec Chief Economist | July 11, 2014 9:01 AM EST

Morning Report
(06:10 AEST)

In US economic data new claims for unemployment insurance (jobless claims) fell by 11,000 to 304,000 in the latest week. Wholesale sales rose by 0.7% in May, in line with forecasts, while inventories rose by 0.5%.


Toyota representative Brandi Hall (L) assists a U.S. military veteran applicant at a hiring fair for veteran job seekers in Washington in this file photo taken April 9, 2014. The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits unexpectedly rose last week, but not enough to change views the labor market was strengthening. REUTERS/Gary Cameron/Files (UNITED STATES - Tags: MILITARY BUSINESS EMPLOYMENT)

European shares fell on Thursday on continued concerns about the health of the Portuguese banking system. Portugal´s PSI share index by fell 4.2% after shares and bonds of Espirito Santo Financial Group, the chief shareholder in Banco Espirito Santo, were suspended over ´´material difficulties´´ at its parent firm ESI. There were also weaker banking stocks in Norway and Spain. The FTSEurofirst 300 index fell by 1% with the German Dax lower by 1.5% while the UK FTSE lost 0.7%. Australia´s major miners also finished weaker in London trade with shares in BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto both down by 1.4%.

US sharemarkets fell on Thursday but finished well off the lows. Concerns about the health of the Portuguese banking system and worries about the US profit reporting season led some investors to book profits. After being down 175 points early in the session, the Dow Jones finished trade down by 70 points or 0.4% with the S&P 500 index also lower by 0.4% while the Nasdaq lost 23 points or 0.5%.

US treasury prices rose on Thursday (yields lower) as investors gravitated to safe-haven assets on concerns about the health of banks in Europe. US 2 year yields fell by 3 points to 0.46% while US 10 year yields fell by 2 points to 2.54%.

Major currencies were mixed against the US dollar in the European and US sessions on Thursday. The Euro fell from highs near U$1.3650 to lows near US$1.3590, closing US trade near US$1.3605. The Aussie dollar fell from highs near US94.00c to lows near US93.60c but it rebounded over the US session to end trade near US93.95c. And the Japanese yen lifted from 101.82 yen per US dollar to JPY101.05, ending US trade near JPY101.29.

World oil prices finished higher at the end of the session and off the day´s lows as bargain hunters stepped in. Prices had been lower earlier in the day in response to data showing plentiful US oil supplies. Brent crude rose by US39c or 0.4% to US$108.67 a barrel and the US Nymex price closed up by US64c or 0.6% to US$102.93 a barrel.

Base metal prices were lower on the London Metal Exchange on Thursday with nickel leading the losses, down by 1.4%, while copper bucked the trend, up by 0.5%. Gold prices rose to the highest levels since March on safe-haven flows. The Comex gold futures quote rose by US$14.90 or 1.1% to US$1,339.20 per ounce. Iron ore rose by US30c a tonne or 0.3% to US$96.90 a tonne.

Ahead: In Australia, housing finance data is released. In the US, monthly Federal Budget figures are released. Earnings are expected from Wells Fargo during the US session.

European shares fell on Thursday on continued concerns about the health of the Portuguese banking system. Portugal´s PSI share index by fell 4.2% after shares and bonds of Espirito Santo Financial Group, the chief shareholder in Banco Espirito Santo, were suspended over ´´material difficulties´´ at its parent firm ESI. There were also weaker banking stocks in Norway and Spain. The FTSEurofirst 300 index fell by 1% with the German Dax lower by 1.5% while the UK FTSE lost 0.7%. Australia´s major miners also finished weaker in London trade with shares in BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto both down by 1.4%.

US sharemarkets fell on Thursday but finished well off the lows. Concerns about the health of the Portuguese banking system and worries about the US profit reporting season led some investors to book profits. After being down 175 points early in the session, the Dow Jones finished trade down by 70 points or 0.4% with the S&P 500 index also lower by 0.4% while the Nasdaq lost 23 points or 0.5%.

US treasury prices rose on Thursday (yields lower) as investors gravitated to safe-haven assets on concerns about the health of banks in Europe. US 2 year yields fell by 3 points to 0.46% while US 10 year yields fell by 2 points to 2.54%.

Major currencies were mixed against the US dollar in the European and US sessions on Thursday. The Euro fell from highs near U$1.3650 to lows near US$1.3590, closing US trade near US$1.3605. The Aussie dollar fell from highs near US94.00c to lows near US93.60c but it rebounded over the US session to end trade near US93.95c. And the Japanese yen lifted from 101.82 yen per US dollar to JPY101.05, ending US trade near JPY101.29.

World oil prices finished higher at the end of the session and off the day´s lows as bargain hunters stepped in. Prices had been lower earlier in the day in response to data showing plentiful US oil supplies. Brent crude rose by US39c or 0.4% to US$108.67 a barrel and the US Nymex price closed up by US64c or 0.6% to US$102.93 a barrel.

Base metal prices were lower on the London Metal Exchange on Thursday with nickel leading the losses, down by 1.4%, while copper bucked the trend, up by 0.5%. Gold prices rose to the highest levels since March on safe-haven flows. The Comex gold futures quote rose by US$14.90 or 1.1% to US$1,339.20 per ounce. Iron ore rose by US30c a tonne or 0.3% to US$96.90 a tonne.

Ahead: In Australia, housing finance data is released. In the US, monthly Federal Budget figures are released. Earnings are expected from Wells Fargo during the US session.

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(Photo: / )
Toyota representative Brandi Hall (L) assists a U.S. military veteran applicant at a hiring fair for veteran job seekers in Washington in this file photo taken April 9, 2014. The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits unexpectedly rose last week, but not enough to change views the labor market was strengthening. REUTERS/Gary Cameron/Files (UNITED STATES - Tags: MILITARY BUSINESS EMPLOYMENT)
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