Market Update & Important Indicators
The Nasdaq has bolted to a fresh record peak in a broad-based Wall Street rally that largely reversed sharp losses in the prior session. The tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index jumped 73.84 points (1.47 per cent) to 5,106.59 on Wednesday, almost 15 points above the prior record set on April 24. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 121.45 points (0.67 per cent) to 18,162.99, while the broad-based S&P 500 gained 19.28 points (0.92 per cent) at 2,123.48.
European equity markets have closed sharply higher before a G7 finance meeting focusing on Greece's debt drama, while airlines group IAG neared its takeover of Irish rival Aer Lingus. Finance ministers and central bank governors of the Group of Seven (G7) wealthiest nations are meeting in Dresden to discuss the global economy and financial regulation, with Athens on the agenda amid stubborn fears of a Greek eurozone exit. German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble has invited his counterparts and their central bank chiefs from Britain, Canada, France, Italy, Japan and the United States, for the gathering that kicks off later on Wednesday. Meantime, markets were attentive to reports quoting Greek government sources saying Greece and its creditors were to start drafting a long-awaited agreement on Wednesday that would release much needed bailout loans for the struggling eurozone country. London's benchmark FTSE 100 index ended the day up 1.21 per cent at 7,033.33 points, as investors also tracked the state opening of parliament and the legislative programme for Prime Minister David Cameron's newly-elected British government. In Frankfurt, the DAX 30 climbed 1.26 per cent to 11,771.13 points, while in Paris the CAC 40 rose 1.95 per cent to 5,182 points.
Tokyo's stock market has clocked up a ninth straight gain thanks to a weaker yen and Shanghai has jumped for a seventh session as investors bet on China unveiling more economy-boosting measures. However, most other markets in Asia have retreated following a sell-off on Wall Street. The euro edged up slightly on bargain-buying although it is still struggling due to fears that Greece will default on its debt obligations. An upbeat series of US data has put the wind back in the sails of the US dollar, which is sitting just below eight-year highs against the yen as the chances of an interest rate rise increase. Seoul sank 1.68 per cent, or 36.00 points, to 2,107.50, while Hong Kong fell 0.60 per cent, or 168.65 points, to 28,081.21. Tokyo reversed morning losses to close up 0.17 per cent, or 35.10 points, at 20,472.58 – a 15-year high. And Shanghai gained 0.63 per cent, or 30.81 points, to 4,941.71, meaning the index has put on more than 15 per cent since it last fell on May 18 and is now at a seven-year high.
The Australian market looks set to open higher, after the Nasdaq index on Wall Street bolted to a fresh record peak. At 0646 AEST on Thursday, the June share price index futures contract was up 10 points at 5,750. Locally on Thursday, the Australian Bureau of Statistics releases business investment figures for the March quarter. The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was down 48.1 points, or 0.83 per cent, at 5,725.3 points. The broader All Ordinaries index was down 46.2 points, or 0.8 per cent, at 5,724.2 points.
Metals were mixed on the LME with Nickel and Tin up 1.2% to US$12,776/t and 1.3% to US$15,556/t respectively. Aluminium was the biggest looser down 0.8% to US$1,699/t. Brent crude increased 1.2% to $63.88/bbl. Gold, remained flat at $1,188/oz.
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