Australian Stocks: What Happened Today?


The analyst principally responsible for the production of this research report is: Howard Humphreys, Director & Lead Research Analyst, Seismic Research

Asian stocks advance on strong economic reports

Returning from the Australia Day public holiday, Australian stocks led Asian markets higher today, despite a soft lead from Wall Street, as a National Australia Bank (NAB) report showed Australia's business confidence surged by the most in a decade. The ASX 200 closed 1.1% higher, with volume about 20% above the 30-day average, after the NAB said its gauge of Australian business confidence surged from -9 in November to 3 in December; after the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) made its sixth interest rate cut in 14 months.

Insurers were a drag on the local market today, however, as investors grew concerned about potential claims relating to the flooding in Queensland and New South Wales.

Korea's KOSPI index also rallied today, rebounding from yesterday's loss on the back of a report that manufacturer's confidence expectations increased to 72 for February, up from 70 for January. Banks, meanwhile, led Japan's market higher after the Nikkei newspaper said the largest banks in Japan will post strong profit results.

To read today's report in PDF in full, see link at the top of this story.

(For a more comprehensive summary of last night's market action see FNArena's Overnight Report.)

Analyst Certification: Any views expressed in this research report by Seismic Research Solutions Pty Ltd ('Seismic Research') accurately reflect the personal views of the analyst(s) about the subject securities or issuers and no part of the compensation of the analyst(s) was, is, or will be directly or indirectly related to the inclusion of specific recommendations or views in this research. The analyst principally responsible for the preparation of this research report receives compensation based on overall revenues of Seismic Research and has taken reasonable care to achieve and maintain independence and objectivity in making any recommendations.

Disclaimer: This document is intended solely for informational purposes and solely for the particular person to whom it was provided by Seismic Research Solutions Pty Ltd ('Seismic Research', ABN: 96 143 340 194). This document should not be relied upon by any other person. All statements contained herein are subject to change without notice. This document is not an offer to buy or sell any financial instruments. This document contains general advice only. In preparing this document, Seismic Research has not taken into account any recipient's investment objectives, financial situation or particular needs of the reader. Seismic Research is not acting as advisor or fiduciary in providing this document, the reader should not make an investment decision on the basis of this document. Although we believe that the information this document contains is accurate and reliable, Seismic Research has not independently verified the information contained in this document, which is derived from publicly available sources. Seismic Research is an Authorised Representative of an Australian Financial Services Licence holder (AFSL: 338 943). Authorised Representative number: 389 109.

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