MARKET NEWS

Australian stocks bounce back
06/12/2016 11:11 AM

The Australian share market is higher in early trade, bouncing back from Monday's losses as investors follow the lead in European and US markets overnight.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 0.4 per cent within the first hour of trade, with financial and resources stocks leading the way.

"We are a prisoner of our time zone. We are now simply following the overnight bounce on Wall Street and in European markets," Australian Stock Report's head of research Chris Conway said.

"We are likely to otherwise trade sideways until the US Federal Reserve rates decision later this month."

Overnight, US stocks rose on strong economic data even as currency and bond investors shrugged off Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi's resignation, following voters' rejection of his constitutional reforms.

The Dow Jones industrial average closed up 0.24 per cent, and the S&P 500 had gained 0.58 per cent.

In the local market, investors are watching out for a decision on interest rates, with the Reserve Bank of Australia expected to keep rates on hold.

"The markets are starting to anticipate that the next move by the RBA will not likely be lower," Mr Conway said.

In the local market, shares in the big four banks helped lift the index, trading between 0.6 and 1.5 per cent higher.

Mining and energy shares were also higher as commodity prices continued to strengthen.

Mining giant BHP Billiton was up 2.4 per cent at $25.78, Rio Tinto rose 2.1 per cent at $59.81, while Fortescue rose 2.5 per cent to $6.41.

Among energy shares Woodside Petroleum was up 0.4 per cent at $30.41, while Santos gained 1.6 per cent at $4.47.

Shares in Origin Energy jumped 4.4 per cent to $6.70 after Australia's largest gas and power retailer outlined a plan to divest its conventional upstream oil and gas portfolio through an initial public offering on the ASX.

KEY FACTS:

* At 1055 AEDT the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index was up 23.4 points, or 0.43 per cent, at 5,423.8 points.

* The broader All Ordinaries index was up 22.5 points, or 0.41 per cent, at 5,480.5 points.

* The December share price index futures contract was up 29 points, or 0.54 per cent, at 5,426 points, with 13,631 contracts traded.

* National turnover was 674.9 million securities traded, worth $997.5 million.

Australian stock market set to open higher
06/12/2016 6:54 AM

The Australian market looks set to open higher following gains in the US, UK, Germany and France, despite initial investor concerns about the economic fallout from Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi's referendum defeat and subsequent resignation.

At 0645 AEDT on Tuesday, the share price index was up 44 points, or 0.82 per cent, at 5,441.

Locally, in economic news on Tuesday, the Reserve Bank of Australia is widely expected to keep rates on hold as investors await any commentary on domestic or global economic conditions.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics is expected to release government finance statistics for the September quarter, while Dun and Bradstreet will issue their business expectations survey.

In equities news, no company announcements are scheduled for release.

In Australia, the market on Monday closed lower with most sectors in negative territory led by a heavy sell-off among the big four banks.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index was down 43.6 points, or 0.8 per cent, at 5,400.4 points, while the broader All Ordinaries index was down 44.6 points, or 0.81 per cent, at 5,458 points.

Australian stocks slip on Italy vote
05/12/2016 10:48 AM

The Australian share market has slipped lower in early trade as investors brace for fresh uncertainty sparked by exit poll results from the Italian referendum on constitutional reforms.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was down 0.8 per cent within the first half hour of trade, with financial and energy stocks dragging down the market.

"The weakness is flowing from the results coming through from Italy. The market's main concern is that this will lead to fresh elections in Italy and doesn't bode well for the stability of the European Union," CommSec market analyst Steven Daghlian said.

Exit polls showed Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has lost a referendum on constitutional reform by a wide margin, opening the door to renewed political instability in the eurozone's third-largest economy.

US stocks ended little changed on Friday after a payrolls report reinforced expectations for an interest rate hike from the Federal Reserve this month. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 0.11 per cent, while the S&P 500 ended 0.04 per cent higher.

In the local market, losses were led by financial stocks.

Shares in each of the big four banks were down more than one per cent, while Macquarie Group lost 1.1 per cent to $83.26 and insurer QBE slipped 2.6 per cent to $11.44.

Energy shares were also in the red despite the continuing improvement in oil prices. Mr Daghlian attributed the weakness to some profits being taken off the table after last week's rally in oil stocks.

Woodside Petroeum was 1.7 per cent to $30.43, Oil Search lost 1.7 per cent to $6.91, while Santos was trading 1.9 per cent lower at $4.29.

Retail focused shares, including JB Hi-Fi, Harvey Norman, Myer, Premier Investments and supermarket giant Woolworths were also trading between 0.7 to 2.0 per cent lower.

Among the few shares in positive territory, gold miners Newcrest, Evolution Mining and Regis Resources - often seen as a safe haven investment, were up between 0.8 to 2.4 per cent.

Mining giant Rio Tinto was also up 0.9 per cent at $58.58.

Shares in Duet Group are also expected to rise sharply when they resume trading at 1100 AEDT after the energy utility operator confirmed a $7.3 billion takeover bid from Hong Kong's Cheung Kong Infrastructure.

KEY FACTS:

* At 1035 AEDT the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index was down 47.1 points, or 0.87 per cent, at 5,396.9 points.

* The broader All Ordinaries index was down 45.2 points, or 0.82 per cent, at 5,457.4 points.

* The December share price index futures contract was down 42 points, or 0.77 per cent, at 5,402 points, with 10,420 contracts traded.

* National turnover was 428.8 million securities traded, worth $622.6 million.