The Australian market hit positive territory today after a run of economic data including stronger retail trade numbers.
Local trade followed a quiet US market overnight with the S&P 500 index down by less than 0.1%.
The ASX started well and rose strongly in late morning but ran out of steam after the Melbourne Cup race.
First, the scoreboard:
S&P ASX 200: 5,519.90 +13.01 (+0.24%)
All Ordinaries: 5,498.20 +13.16 (+0.24%)
AUD/USD: 0.8723 +0.0043 (+0.50%)
And the top stories on Tuesday:
1. September retail sales rose 1.2% against market expectations of a rise of 0.4%. Retail stocks jumped on the news, with Myer up 1.33% to $1.90 and JB Hi-Fi more than 0.65% to $15.39.
2. Signs of a slow economy: The Reserve Bank left interest rates unchanged at 2.5%, the Australian Bureau of Statistics revised upward Australia’s unemployment rate to 6.2% from 6.1% for September and Australia’s trade numbers came in worse than expected for September at a deficit of $2.261 billion.
3. In the region, the Japanese market soared in the first trading day since the central bank eased monetary policy on Friday. The Nikkei 225 was up 3.36% to 16,964.50. And the Japanese manufacturing is benefiting from a weaker yen, according to the Markit/JMMA manufacturing PMI data for October released this afternoon.
4. Iron ore and coal prices fell again as economic news at the weekend suggested weaker manufacturing activity in China. The December ICE Newcastle Coal Futures Prices were down $1.15 to $63.15 – the lowest level in more than 5 years.
5. Australian business is looking for a big lift in sales in the new year, according to today’s Dun and Bradstreet Business Expectations survey. The sales outlook has picked up to a 14 year high of 45.8.