International equity markets were mixed overnight amidst uncertainty surrounding the US budget discussions. European markets finished with modest gains after statistics showed that China’s PMI increased to 50.6 in November, a seven-month high.
This was further augmented by Greece’s offer to repurchase 10 billion euros worth of bonds and German Prime Minister Angela Merkel’s announcement that there is a chance of a debt write-off.
In London the FTSE added four points (+0.1%) to settle at 5871 whilst Germany’s DAX rose 30 points (+0.4%) to settle at 7435. France’s CAC increased nine points (+0.3%) to settle at 3567.
US markets finished with losses as budget discussions continued and after statistics showed that the nation’s factory index fell from 51.7 to 49.5 in November.
The Dow Jones shed 60 points (-0.5%) to settle at 12966 whilst the S&P decreased seven points (-0.5%) to settle at 1406. The Nasdaq lost eight points (-0.3%) to settle at 3002.
In the commodity space, crude oil for January delivery added $0.18 to settle at $89.09 a barrel as the expansion in China’s manufacturing sector signaled higher demand.
Gold for February delivery increased $8.40 (+0.5%) to settle at $1721.10 as investors sought the commodity’s safety due to speculation that a compromise in the US budget discussions might not be reached on time.
In the currency space, the Japanese yen traded lower than the euro due to market optimism in Europe, the positive outlook in China’s manufacturing sector, and the upcoming elections in Japan.
Today will see the release of building approvals data (11:30am, AEDT), the current account (11:30am, AEDT), the all important cash rate (2:30pm, AEDT), and the RBA rate statement (2:30pm, AEDT).