Key Data for the Week
Key economic data released this week:
The ASX 200 closed 0.54% higher at 5,978, led by gains in the IT and Utilities sectors.
Retail names were mixed; Harvey Norman and JB Hi-Fi gave up 1.20% and 0.39% respectively, while Nick Scali and Adairs lifted, putting on 3.62% and 0.28%. The big four banks ended the day higher, with Westpac and ANZ finishing the strongest, up 1.32% and 0.85%.
In company news, A2 Milk Ltd (A2M) reached a settlement with Lion Dairy & Drinks regarding the rights for A2M to use the name ‘A2 Protein’ on their labels. A2M declined $0.22, to close 3.0% lower, at $7.14.
The Australian futures market points to a 0.38% rise today, being driven by positive leads from international markets overnight.
US share markets were higher overnight. The Dow Jones and S&P 500 each closed up 0.29%.
Technology shares lead the market higher, with shares in Visa ending the day up 1.46%, Mastercard rose 1.41%, PayPal lifted 0.77%, Facebook jumped 2.40% and Alphabet, the parent company of Google, put on 1.24%.
In Europe, the German DAX rallied 0.36%, France’s CAC 40 increased 0.18%, whilst the UK’s FTSE 100 fell 0.37%.
Yesterday’s trade figures reinforced just how connected and reliant we are on China for our economic fortunes.
The October trade surplus narrowed to its smallest level in six months, largely due to a contraction in exports. This was on the back of slower demand from China, as measures to curb pollution saw their demand weaken.
Exports of metal ores and minerals, including iron ore, were down 10%, metals, excluding gold, were down 16% and coal, coke and brisquettes down 2%, as China’s steel production contracted.
The import side of the equation looked a little encouraging, with October imports rising after a weak September quarter. This could reflect an improvement in consumer spending, although the headwinds of soft wage growth and high household debt levels will likely keep a lid on household spending.
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