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Morning (AM) Market Report

In the US, each of the major indexes were trading in negative territory on Thursday as cautious trade optimism faded along with initial gains.

Friday, 14th December, 2018

Asian stocks made gains across the board amid signs of concessions in trade relations between Washington and Beijing. In Beijing, a commerce ministry spokesman said China and the US are in close contact over trade, and any US trade delegation would be welcome to visit. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index rose 1.3 percent, or 337.64 points, to end at 26,524.35. On the mainland, the Shanghai Composite Index also rose 1.2 percent, or 31.90 points, to close at 2,634.05. On the technology-heavy Shenzhen exchange, the Component Index and the Composite Index gained 1.4 percent and 1.1 per cent to 7808.04 and 1360.92, respectively.

Shares in Europe edged lower to snap a two-session win streak, as concerns about Britain's exit from the European Union and eurozone growth outweighed a budget compromise in Italy. The pan-European STOXX 600 index lost 0.17 percent and MSCI's gauge of stocks across the globe shed 0.17 percent. London's FTSE was flat, as was Germany's DAX, while France's CAC lost 0.3 percent. Britain's weakened prime minister, Theresa May, survived a late night no-confidence vote, and then said she did not expect a quick breakthrough in Brexit talks that would help get the deal through parliament. The European Central Bank officially ended its post-crisis asset purchase program but promised to keep feeding stimulus into an economy struggling with an unexpected slowdown and political turmoil. The euro and sterling were choppy on Brexit uncertainty and in the wake of comments from ECB President Mario Draghi following a central bank announcement investors viewed as dovish.

In the US, each of the major indexes were trading in negative territory on Thursday as cautious trade optimism faded along with initial gains. Nervousness has heightened volatility in stocks recently with the S&P 500 closing on its lows in the prior session. Equities have struggled to cobble together several straight sessions of gains amid a lack of clarity into US-China trade talks. In company news, shares of General Electric Co climbed after the conglomerate said it would launch an "internet of things" company. Even after the news, GE's stock is down shy of 60 percent year-to-date. Apple shares rose 1.3 percent to $US171.43 in midday trading as the company announced plans for a $US1 billion campus in Austin, Texas, that would accommodate up to 15,000 workers. They have fallen more than 20 percent since 1 November, when Apple warned sales for the crucial holiday quarter would likely miss Wall Street expectations. US economic data showed initial jobless claims fell last week to near 49-year lows, while import prices dropped as the cost of petroleum products tumbled.

Oil prices were higher after data showed inventory declines in the US and as investors began to expect the global oil market could have a deficit sooner than previously thought. US crude rose 2.8 percent to $52.58 per barrel and Brent was last at $61.43, up 2.13 percent.

Ahead of the local open SPI futures were 10 point lower at 5,638.

Foreign Equities Close Change % Change 
Dow Jones (US) 

24597

70

0.29
FTSE 100 Index 6878 -3 -0.04
HKSE 26524 338 1.29
NASDAQ 7070 -28 -0.39
Nikkei 225 (Japan) 21816 213 0.99
NZ50 8793 55 0.63
S&P 500  2651 -1 -0.02
Commodities US$ Close Change % Change 
Aluminium  /t 3mth 19214 -8 -0.43
Copper  /t 3mth 6159 14 0.22
Gold  /oz 3mth 1242 -- --
Lead  /t 3mth 1943 -25 -1.26
Nickel  /t 3mth 10781 54

0.50

Oil - West Texas Crude  /t 3mth 52.6 1.4 2.80
Zinc  /t 3mth 2633 -12 -0.47
Currency Close Pts Change % Change 
$A vs $US 0.7222 0.0007 0.09
$A vs GBP 0.5704 -0.0012 -0.21
$A vs EUR 0.6357 0.0011 0.17
$A vs YEN 82.02

0.27

0.33
$A vs NZD 1.0529 0.0008 0.08