Happiness is just nine hours away. But first, your Friday morning market update.
– There is no pleasing some people. Even though Citibank doubled Q4 profit it was still below analysts’ estimates, so the stock is down more than 4%. Goldman Sachs also reported overnight and even though their numbers fell 19%, they have only lost about 2% in trade up to this point. But the fact that these big guns were off put financials and the overall market on the backfoot in US trade.
– With 30 minutes to go before the close, the Dow is down 80 points or 0.49% to 16,400, the Nasdaq is largely flat, down just 0.02%, while the S&P is down 4 points or 0.24%.
– In Europe there were small losses in the big markets, with the FTSE not even able to capitalise on the Citibank upgrade to mining stocks which closed down 0.07%. In Germany, the DAX fell 0.16%, the CAC was 0.3% lower while stocks in Madrid and Milan fell 0.66% and 0.85% respectively.
– In local Futures trade on the ASX overnight, the SPI 200 March contract is down 1 point to 5270 bid. On the bond boards, the 3’s are up 2 points to 97.07 (2.93%) while the 10’s rose 1.5 points to 95.89 (4.11%). These moves reflected the improved performance in US markets, where the 10-year rallied to 2.85% after the inflation data showed a year-on-year rate of just 1.5%. It was a similarly quiet inflation report in Europe with German yoy inflation printing 1.2% while eurowide inflation was just 0.7% over the past 12 months.
– TIC data released overnight showed that China now owns $1.317 trillion of US Treasuries – a record amount. Japan also increased holding, rising to $1.186 trillion.
– On foreign exchange markets, the Aussie was the big loser, but it sits at 0.8812 off the low of 0.8773 – still down 1.12% over the past 24 hours. The euro is largely unchanged at 1.3605 with the pound similarly quiet at 1.6356. Against the yen and Swiss franc though, the US lost a little ground and sits at 104.92 and 0.9050 respectively.
– On commodity markets, it was a fairly quiet night with Gold largely unchanged at $1241.10 and Nymex crude at $94.05 Bbl, although Copper did fall 2 cents to $3.38 lb. On the Ags, Wheat rose 0.88%, Corn was 0.53% higher but Soybeans fell 0.3%.
There is no important data in Australia today but tonight we are expecting the German Constitutional Court ruling on the constitutionality of the ECB’s bond buying program. We will also see retail sales in the UK and then building permits, housing starts, industrial production and the Michigan consumer sentiment survey in the US.