Key Data for the Week
Key economic data released this week:
The Australian sharemarket fell 0.3% yesterday, with Health Care the worst performing sector. CSL dropped 1.5% following Monday’s 4.5% gain.
The Financials sector weakened, as the big four banks were mixed. Westpac had the largest fall, down 3.5% after the bank went ex-dividend, ANZ lost 0.9%, while NAB and Commonwealth Bank rose 0.7% and 1.0% respectively.
The Consumer Staples and Information Technology sectors were the strongest performers. Treasury Wine Estates added 2.4%, A2 Milk rose 2.2%, while Coles and Woolworths increased 0.6% and 0.2% respectively. Technology companies Afterpay and WiseTech Global gained 3.5% and 3.2% respectively.
The Australian futures market points to a 0.28% rise today, being driven by stronger overseas markets.
European sharemarkets closed higher on Tuesday, with the broad based STOXX Europe 600 up 0.4%. The Telecommunications and Financials sectors led the gains, while Consumer Discretionary was the weakest performer.
US sharemarkets were mixed overnight, with the Health Care sector the strongest performer. Walt Disney rose 1.4%, as the company launched its widely awaited streaming service, Disney+. Telecommunications company AT&T fell 0.5%, however remains near 1-year highs. Information Technology stocks were mixed; Facebook rose 2.6% and Microsoft added 0.7%, while Apple and Alphabet both lost 0.1%. By the close of trade, the S&P 500 rose 0.2%, the NASDAQ added 0.3%, while the Dow Jones finished flat.
We’ve previously raised concern over the high level of US corporate debt, but it looks like even more US corporate debt will be hitting the market.
The US Federal Reserve has lowered benchmark interest rates for three consecutive months, providing an opportune time for corporates to issue bonds and lock in very cheap cost of funds.
Pharmaceutical company AbbVie is expected to issue US$30 billion of bonds to fund its takeover of Allergan, which would push this week’s sales of high-grade debt to US$45 billion, double last week’s total.
The upcoming holiday season is also looming and encouraging a last run of issuance before Christmas.
US corporate debt of BBB rated bonds has experienced significant growth over the past few years and is a potential catalyst for a pullback, should credit rating downgrades be experienced.
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