Stocks to watch at the open

Investors have shown optimism in health stocks despite the US deadlock over Obamacare, but commodities are trending downwards.

Healthcare

The US government shutdown reignited interest in healthcare stocks over night, sending the sector up 1.3% against an index gain of 0.4%. Investors in healthcare stocks have viewed the government shutdown favourably in hope the Republicans will not be successful in delaying Obama’s Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare.

Recently the domestic healthcare sector has been out of favour with investors due to the uncertainty over Obamacare and a strengthening Australian dollar.

The local healthcare sector is down 3.64% over the past month against a flat index.

Commodities

Commodity price movements are following equity markets and showing little concern about a US government shutdown.

Gold lost $US40.9 to close at $US1286.10 per ounce. Moves in the gold price suggest investors aren’t looking for safe haven investments just yet, and aren't too concerned about inflation either.

Oil was also down, with Brent Crude losing 0.67% to close at $107.64 per barrel.

All up, it looks like another miserable day for gold miners, who have been very sensitive to changes in the gold price (see Tim Treadgold's Losing its lustre?). Oil producers could also follow the price of oil downwards if local investors don’t dust aside concerns over the US government shutdown.