US stocks had a very bumpy day of trade on Thursday, with high swings after Facebook shares hit an all time high on the back of stronger than expected earnings. While some dampening news came out capped gains, with the benchmark 10-year yield rising to 2.79 per cent, and another measure, bond yields, topping 3 per cent, a level the market hasn’t seen in almost a year. All in all, the three major indices wrapped up mixed. And after markets closed, Apple reported better than expected earnings, while its cash pile hit a record $285 billion.
On the commodities front, oil has continued its rally, jumping 2 per cent and that should see Australian energy stocks shine again today.
But if we have a look at the futures market the SPI is 14 points down, suggesting a weak start.
Yesterday Australian share market closed higher The S&P/ASX 200 Index closed 52 points up to finish at 6,090.
US economic news
The US manufacturing activity continued to grow with the index reading coming in at 59.1 in December, beating forecasts of 58.6. But the number does reflect a slight fall from December’s 59.3.
Local economic news
We are expecting a business inflation measure, the Producer Price Index, to fall to 1.2 per cent from the prior reading of 1.6 per cent year-on-year (for the December quarter). That should come out at 11.30am.
Wall Street closed mixed yesterday: The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.1 per cent to close at 26,187, the S&P 500 lost 0.1 per cent to close at 2,822 and the NASDAQ shed 0.4 per cent to close at 7,386.
European markets closed lower: London’s FTSE lost 0.6 per cent, Paris lost 0.5 per cent and Frankfurt fell the most, 1.4 per cent.
Asian markets closed mixed: Tokyo’s Nikkei added 1.7 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 0.8 per cent, and China’s Shanghai Composite lost almost 1.00 per cent.
Industrial building material company, James Hardies Industries (ASX:JHX) reported its net profit fell 12 per cent in the 9 months to December end to US$204 million. Meantime, its net sales went the other way, rising 7 per cent compared to the prior corresponding period to $1.5billion. Its shares in closed1.6 per cent higher yesterday at $22.15.
Australian Dollar at 8.40am was buying 80.43 cents, 56.37 Pence Sterling, 87.93 Yen and 64.29 Euro cents.
Gold has gained $10.30 to $US1,353 an ounce.
Silver has lost $0.02 to $US17.22 an ounce.
Oil has gained $1.29 to $US66.02 a barrel.
The three most traded cryptocurrencies are trading lower.
Bitcoin has fallen below its key milestone level of $9,000 early this morning, but now it’s now gained back steam and is 8 per cent lower (over the last 24 hours) to $9,273.
Ethereum shed about 7 per cent to $1,033
And Tether slipped about 1 per cent to $0.98