Overseas Market Report – U.S. Stocks Rebound After Data
U.S. stocks finished modestly higher Thursday following the release of mixed economic data, and after the U.S. dollar weakened but rebounded in late afternoon trading.
Initial U.S. unemployment claims rose by 6,000 to 278,000 last week. The less volatile four-week moving average was off by 1,750 to 270,250. The data comes ahead of Friday's payroll and unemployment rate report.
Productivity fell in the fourth quarter of 2015 by 2.2%, according to a revised report released, the weakest reading since the first quarter of 2014. Still, the data was better than the originally reported 3% fall and above expectations.
Growth in the U.S. service sector slowed slightly in February, according to the ISM nonmanufacturing index. The reading of 53.4 was off by only 0.1 point from January levels.
At the closing bell, the Dow and S&P 500 were each 0.3% higher while the NASDAQ was up 0.1%.
Shares of grocery-store chain Kroger (KR) fell after the company's still-impressive same-store sales growth of 3.9% came in below the firm's fourth-quarter guidance of 4.0%-4.5%. Management also guided for 2.5%-3.5% same-store sales growth in fiscal 2016, a level below the recent trends the market has come to expect.
Excluding the impact of currency and lower fuel prices, Costco's (COST) same-store sales were up 5% in its fiscal second quarter. A rise in expenses brought profit down to US$1.24 per share from US$1.35 a share in the year-ago-quarter. Analysts had expected earnings to come in at US$1.28 a share.
For Australian ADRs listed on the NYSE, BHP Billiton rose 45 cents (1.77%) to $25.85, ResMed gained 20 cents (0.35%) to $57.43, Telstra Corporation rose 13 cents (0.70%) to $18.60, Spark New Zealand gained 34 cents (2.96%) to $11.81 and Westpac gained $0.49 (2.18%) to $22.97.
At 8:15 AM (AEDT), the 10-year Treasury note yield was 1.83% and the 5-year yield was 1.33%.
European markets were lower.
The FTSE 100 and Germany's DAX were each off around 0.3%, while the French CAC 40 was down 0.2%.
Asian markets finished mostly higher.
The Shanghai Composite was up 0.4%, the Nikkei 225 rose 1.3%, while the Hang Seng slipped 0.3%. India's Sensex rose 1.5%.
Australian Market Report- Local Market Expected To Open Higher
Ahead of the local open, SPI futures were up 5 points at 5,082.
Thursday 03 March – close. Local stocks opened higher this morning, encouraged by positive leads from global share markets and further rebounds in commodity prices overnight. The ASX 200 index rose steadily throughout the day to finish at its intraday high, within striking distance of the 5,100 mark. The mining majors posted solid gains, whilst the big four lenders continued their recent rally. Most sectors closed in the green, with the exception of health care and telecommunication services. The Australian dollar appreciated against most major currencies.
The All Ordinaries gained 58.70 points to 5,142.20 while the S&P/ASX 200 rose 59.90 points to 5,081.10.
In This Issue
Oil Search (OSH)
Oil Search provided exploration and appraisal drilling update for February 2016, reporting the second extended well test on Antelope 5 was completed after flowing at 53 mmscf/day for 14 days and then being shut-in for 14 days to record the subsequent pressure build-up. The downhole pressure gauges were successfully retrieved from both Antelope 5 and Antelope 1 and data has been extracted for analysis. As at 29 February 2016, the Antelope 6 well was at a depth of 2,330 metres in an 8-1/2" hole and preparing to conduct a drill stem test (DST) over the target Kapau limestone interval. During the month, 9-5/8" liner was run to the top reservoir, cores were cut from the upper section of the reservoir, intermediate logs run and initial clean-up flows started for the DST. OSH lifted 23 cents to $7.22.
Beach Energy (BPT)
Beach Energy provided monthly drilling report for the month February 2016. The Company reported that two-well exploration program was completed on the western edge of the Patchawarra Trough, which aimed to add reserves in this liquids rich gas play area. Moomba-212 was drilled as a standalone appraisal well on the southeast flank of the Moomba South Field. Moomba-212 intersected gas pay in the target zones in-line with pre-drill estimates and was cased and suspended as a future producer. Jute-1, the second well of the campaign, was cased and suspended for further testing and stimulation. The Varanus South-2 gas appraisal well was drilled 1.2km southeast of the Varanus South-1 discovery well. The Berylium-1 exploration well was spudded late in February and is currently drilling ahead. BPT added 5 cents to $0.69.
Recent Contacts & Presentations
Troy Resources (TRY), Northern Star Resources (NST), Regis Resources (RRL), Medusa Mining (MML), Doray Minerals (DRM), Beadell Resources (BDR), Red 5 (RED), Kingsgate Consolidated (KCN), OBJ (OBJ), Sino Gas & Energy Holdings (SEH), TFS Corporation (TFC), Paragon Care (PGC), Austal (ASB), Orbital Corporation (OEC),Energia Minerals (EMX), Berkeley Energia (BKY) , Finders Resources (FND), 4DS Memory Ltd (4DS) , Bionomics Ltd (BNO)