Overnight: Whiplash

World Overnight
SPI Overnight (Dec) 6555.00 + 41.00 0.63%
S&P ASX 200 6546.70 – 46.70 – 0.71%
S&P500 2919.40 + 26.34 0.91%
Nasdaq Comp 7903.74 + 79.96 1.02%
DJIA 26346.01 + 181.97 0.70%
S&P500 VIX 18.64 – 1.64 – 8.09%
US 10-year yield 1.59 + 0.05 3.38%
USD Index 99.12 – 0.01 – 0.01%
FTSE100 7166.50 + 23.35 0.33%
DAX30 12094.26 + 124.06 1.04%

By Greg Peel

Pass the Sunblock

It’s all getting a bit crazy. In a week in which by rights global markets should be stalled ahead of pending trade talks nothing could be further from the truth.

On Tuesday the ASX200 rallied in defiance of Wall Street, picking up from Monday’s holiday, but I said yesterday there was no need to go into detail because Wall Street tanked on Tuesday night and our futures were down -65 points.

Sure enough, the index dropped -70 points in the first half hour but there found some buying. While encouraging, it’s all a bit academic given we closed down -47 and on a Wall Street rebound, our futures are this morning up 41.

If you’re sitting on a beach somewhere with the kids this week, you made the right choice. If only computers took holidays.

But anyway…

Consumer discretionary was the star sector on Tuesday and the dud yesterday, falling -1.7% following a profit warning from Flight Centre ((FLT)). That stock fell -11.7% to be the worst index performer on the day.

But it was not just Flight Centre. The Westpac consumer confidence index has fallen -5.5% to 92.8 this month – the lowest since July 2015 – indicating accelerating pessimism (100 is neutral). The RBA will not be amused.

Staples (-1.1%) were also sold, along with oil price-driven energy (-1.6%), while the banks (-0.8%) represented a lot of negative index points as another round of remediation provision top-ups plays out.

Telcos (+0.3%) bucked the trend following a broker upgrade for Telstra ((TLS)) while industrials hung in there (+0.1%). Cleanaway Waste Management ((CWY)) rose 6.2% after announcing it had acquired the assets of corporate failure SKM Recycling.

But daylight was second on the leaders’ board behind biotech Clinuvel Pharmaceuticals ((CUV)), for which FDA approval of its skin treatment was worth a 60% leap.

Today’s another day…

Will they, won’t they?

On Monday the White House announced the addition of 28 Chinese security and technology companies to the “black list”, meaning US companies are not allowed to sell to them, due to their involvement in Uighur minority oppression. On Tuesday the White House topped that up with visa bans on related individuals. Wall Street tanked on the implication of trade talk tensions.

But the morning’s news was that Chinese officials were displeased with the black list additions but were still prepared to accept a limited deal this week as long as the tariff increase on one tranche of goods to 30% from 25% planned from October 15 is withdrawn, along with tariffs on a new tranche of consumer goods set for December.

In return, China would increase purchases of US agri-products by 50%, but would not at this stage move on the major sticking points, being IP and technology transfers.

And nothing ever happens, nothing happens at all
The needle returns to the start of the song
And we all sing along like before

  • Del Amitri (1989)

It’s the same deal China offered in 2017.

Computers have short memories, so what seemed like relief when the black list and visa ban might have killed the meetings altogether drove the Dow back up 250 points.

Then late in the session Reuters reported the Chinese had “lowered their expectations” of any progress given the black list undermined goodwill. The Dow rapidly dipped, but steadied at up 181.

Talks start tonight.

Commodities

Spot Metals,Minerals & Energy Futures
Gold (oz) 1505.00 – 0.20 – 0.01%
Silver (oz) 17.72 0.00 0.00%
Copper (lb) 2.55 + 0.01 0.28%
Aluminium (lb) 0.78 + 0.00 0.35%
Lead (lb) 0.97 – 0.00 – 0.45%
Nickel (lb) 7.91 – 0.01 – 0.17%
Zinc (lb) 1.04 – 0.00 – 0.42%
West Texas Crude 52.64 + 0.43 0.82%
Brent Crude 58.29 + 0.44 0.76%
Iron Ore (t) futures 90.70 – 3.80 – 4.02%

At least some markets are sensibly going quiet ahead of tonight.

Except iron ore.

The Aussie is poised at US$0.6724.

Today

The SPI Overnight closed up 41 points or 0.6%.

Wall Street will be hanging on every rumour and tweet tonight.

The US CPI will kick off the session.

Locally we’ll see housing finance data for August.

Brambles ((BXB)), Cardno ((CDD)) and Transurban ((TCL)) hold AGMs today, Domino’s Pizza ((DMP)) delivers an investor day and Harvey Norman ((HVN)) goes ex.

The Australian share market over the past thirty days…

BROKER RECOMMENDATION CHANGES PAST THREE TRADING DAYS
NXT NEXTDC Upgrade to Add from Hold Morgans
SYD SYDNEY AIRPORT Upgrade to Outperform from Neutral Macquarie
Greg Peel

About Greg Peel

Greg Peel joined Macquarie Bank in 1986 and acquired trading experience in equities, currency, fixed income and commodities derivatives, ultimately being appointed director of equity derivatives trading. He later published In With The Smart Money (a plain English guide to the mysterious world of financial markets and derivatives) and acted as a consultant to boutique investment funds. In 2004 Greg joined FNArena as a contributing writer. He is now a director and principal of the company. Greg compliments the journalistic background of the FNArena team with lengthy experience as a financial markets proprietary trader.

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