Here’s your morning market update:
– A much better night for global stocks markets overnight with Europe higher and the US volatile but firmly in the green. Apple is one of the big movers, having been hit hard by disappointing earnings but it didn’t stop activist investor Carl Icahn who reportedly bought another $500 million worth of the stock. At the moment it is down 7.82% at $507.51 which, by the way, is why I trade currencies mostly – they don’t crash like that.
– On the data front, US durable goods were a disappointing -4.3% in December against an expectation that they would rise 1.8%. Taking out the volatile transportation component saw durables goods still falling but a less ugly -1.6%. Elsewhere Case Shiller house prices printed 13.7% as expected while the Richmond fed index was a smidge weaker, printing 12 versus 13 expected.
– So with 30 minutes to go before the close, the Dow is up 85 points to 15,928 for a rise of 0.55%, the Nasdaq is up 0.25% and the S&P 500 is up 10 to 1,793 for a gain of 0.64%.
– Across the pond in Europe, the FTSE was buoyed by a Nomura upgrade of miners which saw BHP and Rio up 1% and 3% respectively, but it didn’t really gain from the GDP report which showed a fairly solid 2.8% growth rate. At the close, the FTSE was up 0.33%. In Germany, the DAX rose 0.62%, the CAC was 0.98% higher and the FTSE MIB in Milan and the IBEX 35 in Madrid were up 0.9% and 1.24% respectively.
– On Forex markets, the US dollar has benefited a little against the yen from the better tone in markets and USDJPY sits at 102.86 but off the high of 103.25. The Aussie also benefited from the improved sentiment and the very solid NAB Business survey yesterday, making a high of 0.8820, but it is back at 0.8773 this morning having made a solid 0.44% gain on the day. Euro and GBP are largely unchanged at 1.3660 and 1.6573 respectively.
– On commodity markets, the gold bulls will be further disappointed by the yellow metal’s inability to hold the break of the trendline resistance over the past few trading days. It’s around the levels of yesterday morning at $1252.21, having made an aborted push higher again last evening. Crude rose 1.64% to $97.29 Bbl but Dr Copper lost another cent to $3.28 lb. On the Ags things were fairly quiet with Corn up just 0.06%, Wheat up 0.44% and Soybeans fell 0.17%. Bitcoin is at $965 on Mt Gox.
On the data front today we get the Westpac leading index in Australia and President Obama’s State of the Union Address before the German Gfk confidence survey and UK house prices tonight. In the US, we see the release of mortgage applications and then tomorrow morning the FOMC “taper or not” decision.