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IG Markets: Morning Prices

In the US overnight, traders shrugged off strong economic data releases and light volumes to engage in a bit of profit taking, looking lock in some of the huge gains seen in December. For the month, the Dow Jones is up 5.3% while the S&P 500 and NASDAQ are 6.7% and 6.8% higher respectively. All three of the major indices finished the session 0.15% lower.

Locally, the ASX 200 is called to open the last trading session of the year 0.15% weaker at 4783. In terms of the big sectors, it looks like the materials and financial spaces could weigh a little today.

Despite base metal leads being all higher on the London Metals Exchange, it looks like the big names will be mixed at best with Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton adding 0.7% and declining 0.1% respectively in London equities trade. BHP Billiton’s ADR is calling the locally listed entity 0.4% weaker at $45.65 on the open. The big news overnight was speculation that BHP Billiton are looking to make a takeover bid for Anadarko, possibly rumoured to be around the US$90 per share mark. It would potentially be a good fit for BHP Billiton but there is a lot of water to flow under the bridge yet.

Elsewhere, there could be some weakness from financial names after the US sector lost 0.3% for the overnight session. The likes of Bank of America, JP Morgan, Wells Fargo and Citigroup were all down between 0.2% and 0.6%. Earnings downgrades for Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs from Credit Suisse weighed on sentiment across the sector.

There could also be some weakness among industrial names after the respective sector fell 0.2% in US trade. On the upside, there may be some buyers in the energy sector after it was the best performer in US trade, stronger by 0.1%. It was boosted by the strong performance of Anadarko Petroleum, which rose more than 6%.

In summary, it looks like an extremely quiet shortened trading session to finish off 2010. Unless there is a miracle and the ASX 200 surges north of 4870, it looks like we’re set to post modest falls for the year, significantly underperforming solid gains among other developed markets.

In currency markets, the AUDUSD was pretty steady overnight to be hovering around the 1.0172 mark. The euro managed its second straight session of gains to be trading around the 1.3287 level.

Market Price at 8:00am AEST Change Since Australian Market Close Percentage Change
AUD/USD 1.0176 0.0007 0.07%
ASX (cash) 4783 -7 -0.15%
US DOW (cash) 11578 -10 -0.08%
US S&P (cash) 1258.6 -1 -0.07%
UK FTSE (cash) 5972 -14 -0.23%
German DAX (cash) 6918 -72 -1.02%
Japan 225 (cash) 10173 -50 -0.49%
Rio Tinto Plc (London) 45.84 0.32 0.69%
BHP Billiton Plc (London) 26.14 -0.02 -0.08%
BHP Billiton Ltd. ADR (US) (AUD) 45.65 -0.20 -0.44%
US Light Crude Oil (Feb) 89.36 -1.92 -2.10%
Gold (spot) 1406.1 -6.9 -0.49%
Aluminium (London) 2451.00 -13 -0.53%
Copper (London) 9542.00 79 0.83%
Nickel (London) 24100.00 46 0.19%
Zinc (London) 2419.00 10 0.42%
RBA Cash Rate to be raised by 25bp (Feb) (%) 9.00 0.0 0.00%

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