Welcome to Monday. Here’s what you need to know so far:
– The weekend seizure by Russian troops of a Ukranian air base in Crimea will keep traders a little anxious today with Gold and Crude likely to be the primary beneficiaries.
– Stocks slid into the end of the week with the Dow losing 28 points or 0.17% to 16,303. The S&P lost 5 points to 1867 for a loss of 0.27% even though it was up earlier. The Nasdaq lost 0.98% as biotech stocks came under pressure.
– Speaking on Friday, Fed Governor Bullard noted that Janet Yellen’s point about six months was more a reflection of “the surveys that I had seen from the private sector had that kind of number penciled in…that wasn’t very different from what we had heard from financial markets. So, I just think she’s just repeating that.”
– European shares were higher with London, Frankfurt and Paris rising 0.22%, 0.5% and 0.16% respectively, but in Milan and Madrid, stocks slid into the red with losses of 0.58% and 0.27% respectively.
– Locally on the ASX, the June SPI 200 contract lost 21 points to 5306 bid on Friday night and is likely to open under pressure this morning.
– On Currency markets, the US dollar lost some the strength it showed the previous day with the euro recovering to 1.3795. This recovery might prove ephemeral however, given that ECB Governing Council member Erkki Liikanen said on the weekend that the ECB might still lower rates and could actually take rates negative. GBP continued to lose ground, sliding to a weekly close of 1.6484. USDJPY ended the week at 102.23 while the Aussie rose back to within half a cent of recent highs, closing the week at 0.9081.
– On Commodity markets, tensions over Crimea helped lift Brent and its US cousin Nymex Crude higher. In the US, Nymex cruse ended just under $100 Bbl at $99.55. Gold climbed off the mat, rising $5.50 oz to $1,335.80. Copper closed at $3 lb while the Ags big moves continued. Corn was quiet, rising 0.1%, wheat fell 1.49% and soybeans fell 1.74%.
On the data front, the release of the flash HSBC Chinese PMI will be the key event today while tonight, European and US flash PMIs will be released.
Here’s today’s Stock to Watch, from Ric Spooner:
Investors starting to see value in Wesfarmers might be interested in this chart. Recent weakness sees it approaching support around $41.00.
It can pay to allow a bit price tolerance with chart support levels. It’s not unusual for price to make a low a little above or push a little below an obvious line like this one.
Ric Spooner, chief market analyst, CMC Markets
Follow Ric on Twitter @ricspooner_CMC