The Australian market looks set to open higher later this morning after Wall Street rose overnight, with traders piling back into blue chips and tech stocks as a Federal Reserve report depicted steady US economic growth.
The September SPI futures contract is up 32 points, at 5082.
In local economic news today, the Australian Bureau of Statistics releases July’s retail trade data, and international trade in goods and services figures for the same month.
The Australian Industry Group Australian Performance of Services Index (PSI) for August is due out, while Business Council chief executive Jennifer Westacott and Financial Services Council chief executive Sally Loane are speaking at an Australian Israel Chamber of Commerce lunch in Sydney.
Meanwhile, the three-day Africa Down Under Conference continues in Perth.
No equities news is expected.
– SPI futures up 35pts to 5085
– AUD at 70.30 US cents, 84.70 Japanese yen, 62.74 Euro cents and 46.02 British pence
– On Wall St, S&P 500 +1.8%, Dow +1.8%, Nasdaq +2.5%
– In Europe, Stoxx 50 +0.3%, FTSE +0.4%, CAC +0.3%, DAX +0.3%
– China’s markets will be closed Thursday and Friday
– Spot gold slid $US6.21 or 0.5% to $US1134.06 an ounce
– Iron ore adds 0.2% to $US56.70 per tonne
– Brent crude rose $US1.14 or 2.3% to $US50.70 a barrel
What’s on today:
Australia international trade, retail trade; China military parade to mark 70th anniversary of victory over Japan in WWII; ECB interest-rate decision in Frankfurt, president Mario Draghi holds a press conference; Sweden rates decision; US ISM services, jobs data.
Stocks in focus:
Citi has made no change to its major banks stocks order of preference “given that we expect continued retail revenue headwinds from moderating investor lending volumes, whilst competition is redirected towards the owner occupied segment”. Meanwhile organic capital generation continues to remain weak amidst an environment of higher capital requirements across the major banks, says Citi. “We maintain our major bank order of preference – ANZ (Buy), NAB (Neutral), CBA (Neutral), WBC (Neutral).”
UBS is “neutral” on Myer Holdings and has a price target of $1.20 on the retailer, compared with $1.30 previously. “MYR has a strong brand, but continues to lose share and will now look to realign the business to a different customer base. We think this is high risk, but the strategy by management and level of CAPEX allocated does seem sensible.”
Trading ex dividend today: Adelaide Brighton, Austock, Evolution Mining, Fortescue Metals Group, Integrated Research, Medibank Private, Prime Media Group, Regis Healthcare, IPH, Silver Chef, Tox Free Solutions.