Friday, September 27, 2013

Australian Equities Market

THIS MORNING

No major economic data is released. In the US, personal income and spending data is released together with final consumer sentiment data for September.

OVERNIGHT MARKETS

US Equities

US sharemarkets rose modestly on Thursday. Investors watched the ongoing political wrangling over lifting the debt ceiling. And economic data was mixed. After trading higher by 114pts in early trade, the Dow Jones closed higher by 55pts - the first gain in six days. The S&P 500 edged 0.4pct higher and the Nasdaq gained 26pts or 0.7pct.

US treasuries were little changed on Thursday. Traders digested new bond supply, mixed economic data and news on negotiations over the US debt ceiling and federal budget in Congress. US Treasury sold $29 billion in seven-year notes on Thursday. US 2yr yields fell by 1pt to 0.344pct and US 10yr yields rose by 2pts to 2.648pct.

The US dollar lifted modestly against major currencies late in the European session and through the US session on Thursday. The Euro eased from highs around US$1.3525 to near US$1.3470 and ended US trade near US$1.3480. The Aussie dollar fell from highs near US94.00c to US93.40c before ending US trade near US93.50c. And the Japanese yen held between 98.51 yen per US dollar and JPY99.11, ending US trade near JPY98.92.

World oil prices rose on Thursday as bargain hunters stepped in after recent losses. Brent crude rose by US89c or 0.8pct to US$109.21 a barrel while US Nymex rose by US37c or 0.4pct to US$103.03 a barrel.

Base metal prices rose up to 1.1pct on Thursday with lead doing best. But nickel eased by less than 0.1pct. Gold fell on Thursday, reversing most of the previous day´s gains. The Comex December futures price was down by US$12.10 an ounce or 0.9pct to US$1,324.10 per ounce. The iron ore price was unchanged at US$133.80 a tonne on Thursday.

YESTERDAY'S MARKET

Local Markets Update.

This news story is reprinted from www.comsec.com.au

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Abbott Restoring Business Relationship

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has confirmed that former Australia Stock Exchange chairman Maurice Newman will chair his Business Advisory Council.

The council will meet three times a year with senior members of the government, and will include representatives from manufacturing, agricultural, resources, services and information sectors.

Mr Abbott said the government and business have a shared interest in Australia's economic success and strength, which will result in more jobs and more revenue to fund the provision of services and investment infrastructure.

"I want to restore a working relationship between government and Australian business," Mr Abbott said in a statement on Thursday.

He said a strong relationship with business characterised the Hawke, Keating and Howard governments.

"The previous government's class war on business and sectors of our economy did little to engender confidence and economic opportunity."

Mr Newman has also previously been the chairman of Deutsche Bank Asia Pacific and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, as well as a former chancellor of Macquarie University.

This news story is reprinted from au.finance.yahoo.com

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Crown Says Its Focus Is Squarely On Australia

GLOBAL casino operator Crown says it is working to improve the quality of its Australian resorts, while also keeping a close eye on costs.

Crown has been upgrading its Crown Melbourne and Crown Perth casinos to make them more competitive with new casinos and resorts in Asia.

"In the year ahead, we will be focusing on the performance of our Australian resorts, including a continued focus on cost control,'' chairman James Packer said in the company's annual report released today.

"My vision for Crown sees us as a leading global luxury brand, with a clear focus on Asian tourism.''

Crown is also working on a proposed luxury hotel and VIP-only casino at Barangaroo on Sydney harbour, and Mr Packer said the company would continue to work with the NSW government to bring that project to fruition.

Crown's $396 million profit in the 2012/13 financial year was down 23 per cent from the previous year, and its Australian businesses posted mixed results due to weak consumer sentiment.

The annual report shows chief executive Rowen Craigie's earnings in the year dropped by 27 per cent to $4.99 million, due mainly to lower incentives as performance targets were only partly met.

Mr Craigie said in the report that the company was undertaking a "comprehensive review of back of house and front of house operational efficiency'' to ensure the Australian resorts reach their potential.

Mr Packer receives no pay from Crown.

The total pay for all of Crown's senior executives was lower in 2012/13 due to fewer short term benefits and long term incentives.

The company's shareholders will next month vote on a proposed name change for the company, to Crown Resorts.

The new moniker will reflect the large investment in tourism infrastructure that the company has recently made and expects to maintain, Mr Packer said.

This news story is reprinted from www.heraldsun.com.au

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$A Higher On Possible Japanese Tax Cut

The Australian dollar is higher, boosted by risk sentiment in the Asian region on news that Japan may cut corporate taxes.

At 1700 AEST on Thursday, the local unit was trading at 93.89 US cents, up from 93.60 cents on Wednesday. Easy Forex currency dealer Tony Darvall said the Aussie dollar had rallied on news that Japan was looking at introducing a corporate tax rate cut.

"That helped the Nikkei surge higher and helped the whole Asian region go into risk-on mode," Mr Darvall said. "The Aussie is well situated here to have a little attempt higher because risk sentiment has improved a lot and there's been a lot of Aussie/Yen buying."

Mr Darvall said the Aussie was also helped by the fact that the greenback is on the back foot, as the continuing US debt ceiling negotiations begin to take their toll.

At 1700 AEST, the Australian dollar was at 92.91 Japanese yen, up from Wednesday's close of 92.27 yen, and at 69.45 euro cents, down from 69.47 euro cents.

Meanwhile, the US debt ceiling debate was also impacting on Australian bond futures prices.

UBS interest rate strategist Matthew Johnson said the US debt ceiling debate, as well as the Australian Office of Financial Management's pricing of its new August 21, 2035 Treasury indexed bonds, had driven Australian bonds on Thursday.

The new bond is believed to be the longest dated issue in Australian government bond market history. "The big thing today is the syndication of the 2035 linker (inflation indexed bonds) which was a big deal," Mr Johnson said.

"I think in the last few days, the heavy equity market and the bid in bonds has been about the debt ceiling debate.

"The US fiscal issues are definitely a yield-reducing factor, despite the fact that the US finances being a bit of a basket case should push up bond yields, but that's not happening." At 1630 AEST on Thursday, the December 10-year bond futures contract was trading at 96.060 (implying a yield of 3.940 per cent), down from 96.065 (3.935 per cent) on Wednesday.

The December three-year bond futures contract was at 97.070 (2.930 per cent), down from 97.080 (2.920 per cent).

This news story is reprinted from au.finance.yahoo.com

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Thursday, September 26, 2013

Australian Equities Market

THIS MORNING

The financial accounts are released together with population estimates and job vacancies. In the US, economic growth (GDP) figures are released together with weekly jobless claims and pending home sales.

OVERNIGHT MARKETS

US Equities

US sharemarkets eased again on Wednesday. There was little progress in the political wrangling over lifting the debt ceiling. And economic data largely met forecasts. Shares in Facebook rose 2.1pct in response to broker upgrades but shares in retailer JC Penney fell by 15pct to a 13-year low on a soft sales outlook. The Dow Jones fell for the fifth straight session, easing by 61pts or 0.4pct while the S&P 500 lost 0.3pct and the Nasdaq lost 7pts or 0.2pct.

US long-term treasuries rose for a fourth day on Wednesday (yields lower) with economic data and wrangling over the US debt ceiling and federal budget supporting the view that the Federal Reserve will wind back stimulus only slowly in coming months. US Treasury sold $35 billion in five-year notes on Wednesday and will sell seven-year notes on Thursday. US 2yr yields rose 1pt to 0.34pct and US 10yr yields fell by 4pts to 2.62pct.

The US dollar eased against major currencies in the European session before consolidating over the US session on Wednesday. The Euro rose from lows around US$1.3465 to near US$1.3535 and ended US trade near US$1.3530. The Aussie dollar rose from lows near US93.40c to US93.85c before ending US trade near US93.70c. And the Japanese yen held between 98.38 yen per US dollar and JPY98.79, ending US trade near JPY98.45.

World oil prices fell on Wednesday on an easing of supply concerns. Comments from the Iranian foreign minister boosted hopes for talks with Western nations on Iran´s nuclear program. And Iraq and Libya lifted oil output and exports respectively. Brent crude fell by US32c or 0.3pct to US$108.32 a barrel while US Nymex fell for the fifth day, dropping US47c or 0.5pct to US$102.66 a barrel.

Base metal prices rose between 0.5-1.2pct on Wednesday, reversing the previous day´s falls. Tin rose the most while aluminium was up the least. Gold rose for the first time in four sessions with the Comex December futures price up by US$19.90 an ounce or 1.5pct to US$1,336.20 per ounce. The iron ore price rose by US$1.10 to US$133.80 a tonne on Wednesday.

YESTERDAY'S MARKET

Local Markets Update.

This news story is reprinted from www.comsec.com.au

Read more details on Australian Stock Market