Monday – US – ISM Manufacturing Indexrose from 58.8 to 60.8 in September, above expectations of 58.0 and now at a 13 year high.
Tuesday – AUS – RBA Interest Rate Decision
Tuesday – EUR – Producer Price Index
Wednesday – US – Markit PMI Composite
Thursday – AUS – Trade Balance
Thursday – AUS – Retail Sales
Thursday – US – Factory Orders
Thursday – US – Jobless Claims
Friday – US – Unemployment Rate
The Australian market closed higher yesterday in what was a quiet day of trade as NSW observed a public holiday. Investors started the new quarter in a bullish mood, following a positive lead from the US and encouraging economic data from China. The ASX 200 index rose 0.84%, to 5,729.
Gains across the sectors were broad based, with particular strength from the Materials and Financials sectors, with only Telecommunications failing to finish in positive territory.
Individual standouts included; Rio Tinto up 2.2%, Commonwealth Bank up 1.4%, while BHP and Westpac finished up 1.3% and 1.1% respectively.
Healthscope Limited (HSO) completed the sale of its 48 standalone medical centres for $55m, effective 30 September 2017. The centres contributed $8.8m to FY17 operating EBITDA (1.9% of group earnings). Divestment of the centres allows HSO to focus on its core hospitals and international pathology operations. HSO gained 1.2% yesterday, to close at $1.69.
The Australian futures market points to a 0.33% rise today, being driven by broadly stronger overseas markets.
US sharemarkets rose to record highs on Monday. Investors were encouraged by solid manufacturing data and optimism around US President Trump's tax reform plans. Financials and Health Care stocks led the gains. The Dow rose 0.68%, while the S&P 500 gained 0.39%. Among the stocks to standout overnight, Intel gained 2.52%, Gilead Sciences rose 3.09%, while Citigroup added 1.46%.
In Europe, markets finished higher overnight, with UK stocks leading the region. The UK’s FTSE 100 closed up 0.90%, while Germany's DAX and the France’s CAC 40 finished up 0.58% and 0.39% respectively.
APRA’s move in March of this year to slow the pace of home lending is certainly working.
The annual growth of house prices in September was the slowest annual growth rate in eight months, falling to 8.5%, from 9.7% in August.
Sydney in particular seemed to be the worst effected, with house prices declining for the first time in 1.5 years, while Melbourne remained reasonably steady.
The current moderation in housing conditions should have further to run as the regulatory measures continue to take effect.
However, interest rates remaining low will continue to support the housing market, and we should expect moderate price growth over the course of the year.
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