The Australian Market was sold off in early trade despite the positive leads from overseas markets. Profit takers took advantage of the recent run in Financial and Material companies sending the Australian Index over 40 points lower, before money returned to the banks, now paring most of this morning’s losses.
It will be a fairly disruptive trading week with major markets on holidays. The US markets will be shut tonight for Presidents’ Day, while most Asian Markets will be closed from Thursday. The Hong Kong and China Indices have pushed higher today as investors set their portfolios in anticipation for The Chinese New Year of the Sheep. There is a strong belief that if you start the New Year well, you will have good fortune for the rest of the year. This may motivate buyers into the market looking for a push in stocks as the Asian Markets return next week.
On Tuesday, minutes of the RBA will be a focal point as expectations of further cuts are growing. It will provide vital clues as to what the Reserve Banks’ next rate move will be and we could see further weakening of the Australian Dollar if the Governor Glen Stevens signals further bias towards a rate cut.
This It is also one of the busiest weeks on reporting calendar as Fortescue, Amcor, Santos, Leighton, ANZ and AMP report earnings. The financial health of these companies will be a key determinant as to whether the ASX 200 can push through the key 5900 level, as most Asian markets are starting to wind down for Chinese New Year.
For further comment from Michael McCarthy at CMC Markets please call 02 8221 2135.