Australian Stock Market Report – Morning September 1, 2014

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By Craig James, CommSec Chief Economist | September 1, 2014 8:48 AM EST

* In US economic data, the Chicago purchasing managers index rose from 52.6 to 64.3 in August - the biggest monthly point gain since July 1983. US personal income rose by 0.2% in July with spending down by 0.1% - both results fell short of forecasts. And consumer sentiment rose from 79.2 to 82.5 in August, above forecasts for a result near 80.1.


Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange shortly after the market's opening in New York July 28, 2014. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

* European shares rose on Friday in choppy trade. The FTSEurofirst 300 index rose by 0.3% to leave shares up 1.8% in August - the biggest gain since February. The German Dax was up by 0.1% on Friday while the UK FTSE lifted 0.2%. Australia's major miners rose in London trade with shares in BHP Billiton up by 0.9% while Rio Tinto edged higher by 0.1%.

* US sharemarkets ended modestly higher on Friday. Investors monitored both the situation in Ukraine and mixed economic data while they were wary about taking on new positions ahead of a holiday weekend. The Dow Jones index rose by 19 points or 0.1% with the S&P 500 index up by 0.3% to record highs while the Nasdaq lifted by 22.6 points or 0.5% to 14-year highs. Over the week the Dow gained 0.6% while the S&P 500 lifted by 0.7% and the Nasdaq gained 0.9%.

* US treasury prices were little changed on Friday ahead of a holiday weekend. US 2 year yields fell by 2 points to 0.492% while US 10 year yields were flat at 2.344%. Over the week US 2 year yields fell by 2.5 points while US 10 year yields fell by 4.5 points.

* Major currencies ended weaker against the US dollar after European and US sessions on Friday. The Euro fell from highs near US$1.3195 to around US$1.3130, before ending US trade at the day's lows. The Aussie dollar eased from highs near US93.60c to lows near US93.25c before ending the US session close to US93.35c. The Aussie is near US93.20c this morning. And the Japanese yen eased from 103.76 yen per US dollar to JPY104.10, ending US trade near JPY104.05.

* World oil prices rose on Friday on fears that Western nations may impose more sanctions on Russia. Brent crude rose by US73c or 0.7% to US$103.19 a barrel and the US Nymex price lifted by US$1.41 a barrel or 1.5% to US$95.96 a barrel. Over the week Brent rose by US90c a barrel or 0.9% while US Nymex gained US$2.31 or 2.5%.

* Base metal prices rose by up to 0.8% on Friday with nickel leading the way. But lead bucked the trend, down by 0.2%. Over the week, base metal prices were mixed with gains or losses not exceeding 1.4%. Gold prices fell on Friday with the Comex gold futures quote down by US$3.00 or 0.2% to US$1,287.40 per ounce. Over the week gold rose by US$7.20 an ounce or 0.6%. Iron ore rose by US60c or 0.7% on Friday to US$87.90 a tonne. But over the week iron ore fell by US$2.20.

Ahead: In Australia, the Business Indicators publication is released with the RP Data Home Value index, TD Securities inflation gauge and Performance of Manufacturing index. In China the purchasing managers index is released. In the US, markets are closed for a public holiday.

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(Photo: / )
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange shortly after the market's opening in New York July 28, 2014. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
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