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IG Markets - Afternoon Thoughts

IG Markets - Afternoon Thoughts

FTSE 5842 -29
DAX 7352 -46
CAC 3429 -28
IBEX 7926 -58
DOW 13580 -30
NAS 2805 -7
S&P 1458 -3

Oil 89.46
Gold 1772

Asian markets are weaker after picking up on the negative lead from Friday’s US trade. There also seems to be a degree of caution being exercised ahead of the eurogroup meeting later today. The headline from Friday was a big 0.3% drop in the US unemployment rate to 7.8% (versus an 8.2% consensus). The overwhelmingly good report was greeted with mixed feelings, but the overall impact was negative on risk assets. Creating a sustainable recovery in the jobs market is one of the core principals of the Fed’s QE programme, and this positive data could mean QE won’t go on for as long as some hoped. There haven’t been any fresh developments in the Asian session today and therefore price action in the risk currency space has been fairly tame, with tight ranges being maintained.

The main event of the Asian session has been China’s return to trade after the Golden Week break. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng is down 0.7%, while the Shanghai Composite has shed 0.8%. The ASX 200 is 0.3% lower while Japan’s Nikkei is closed in observance of Health-Sports Day. Looking ahead to the European session, the major bourses are likely to give back some of Friday’s gains at the open with losses of between 0.5% and 0.7% expected. US markets are facing are mildly weaker open and we could see a fairly quiet session due to the Columbus Day holiday. On the economic calendar we have German trade balance and industrial production due out. However, focus is likely to be on the eurogroup finance ministers meeting as market participants keep an eye on the developments in Spain and Greece. With Spanish bond yields remaining relatively calm, we are unlikely to see Spain change its stance on requesting a bailout.

The ASX 200 was flat for most of the morning session and has since retreated to 4482, tracking Chinese markets lower. All up it’s been a fairly quiet session with resource names being the biggest drag after a reversal in commodity prices. Gold miners finally gave up some ground with Newcrest Mining down 3% and Kingsgate 2.5% lower. Financials are mixed with ANZ and Westpac gaining ground, while NAB and Commonwealth are lower. Bank of Queensland has slumped over 4% after being hit by a slew of broker downgrades on the back of some earnings concerns. Billabong has continued to slide, suggesting investors have lost confidence in the TPG bid. The industrials sector has been lifted by QR National, which has surged over 5% on news the Queensland state government will sell down its stake in the company.


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