The ASX Today

Australian SPI traders haven't put in many moves this morning, taking a leaf out of the books of US traders.

Australian SPI traders haven't put in many moves this morning, taking a leaf out of the books of US traders. 

Despite US equity markets hanging around record levels – the S&P 500 hit a new record on Tuesday – markets ended quite flat. And ASX 200 SPI Futures traders weren't confident to make many moves on that, marking the local index down just two points from yesterday's close.

The US dollar continued to recover against major currencies including the Aussie, which fell 0.44 per cent and is now at US79.82c.

KEY POINTS

  • Jobs data released: expect a 15,000-20,000 rise
  • ASX 200 looks skewed towards the downside in near-term on the back of minimal price action
  • Oil gains but local companies don't look to follow
  • Metals slide overnight on Trumponomics trumping geopolitical tensions and supply concerns
  • US equities at or near highs, but the moves around these levels are still quite weak

Chief market strategist at AxiTrader, Greg McKenna, thinks the focus for the ASX 200 is actually back toward the downside in the near-term. This is based on a candlestick appearing on the ASX 200, in technical terms, where the index is struggling to grasp gains near minor resistance at 5780 points.

Jobs data comes out today which includes statistics on unemployment, which could salve or exacerbate concerns about finances and consumption that came through in consumer sentiment yesterday. Strategists think it will do the former – a rise around the standard 15,000-20,000 is expected. And speaking of consumer confidence, a slew of consumer companies, including Flight Centre and SEEK, go ex-dividend today which could indicate coming pressure on the sector on the ASX.

Oil gained though on news flow of upgraded demand forecasts, meaning OPEC's supply curbing strategy seems to be working. This doesn't look like it will translate to our major oil producers, BHP and Rio, at the open though, which look to be opening relatively unchanged to slightly lower. 

Gold fell 0.72 per cent to take $US1322 this morning, but copper and other metals hit even harder. Copper – or Dr Copper, as it's known as a barometer for the global economy – has been rallying pretty hard as late, but it's inventory levels and demand traders are now said to be worrying about, who sold it off 1.75 per cent overnight to $2.96 a pound.

Speaking of the global economy, McKenna said ‘Trumponomics' could be back – with a report from well-known strategist stating no clients he has canvassed, for the first time ever, are worried about an imminent recession. Traders are once again optimistic that Trump can stimulate the US economy, and get the globe going, with tax cuts and potentially reform.

Although equities started strong in the US this week, there was little price action in the US yesterday. The S&P 500 is at a record, but the major indices were largely unchanged from session start to end. Colin Cieszynski, chief market analyst at CMC Markets Canada, explains in technical terms the state of play for the S&P 500: 

"It is bumping up against 2,500 round number resistance having cleared 2,492 to reach a new all-time high. It remains to be seen if this is a throwover buying climax or the start of a new upleg although RSI remains supportive. Initial pullback support near 2,490 and 2,482 with next measured resistance near 2,535."

Market Summary: 
IndexLast( /-)Change
Dow22,158.1839.320.18
S&P 5002,498.371.890.08
Nasdaq6,460.195.910.09
FTSE 1007,379.70-20.99-0.28
DAX12,553.5728.800.23

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