The Aussie market is off to a decent start, with the ASX 200 index up almost 0.5 per cent at lunch despite a pullback in US equities on Friday and a military strike in Syria. Gains in the order of 1 per cent from mining and energy stocks are helping boost the market most while most other sectors are edging higher modestly.
On Friday, US equities slipped on some disappointing quarterly earnings results. However at the weekend news the US, the UK and France launched in excess of 100 missiles in Syria received plenty of attention. Two military bases and a scientific research centre were struck. While the west says this was a oneoff attack and that no further attacks are planned, it could keep investors on edge in coming days. Additional US sanctions on Russia are expected to also kick in today.
While Aussie stocks are coming off the back of a second straight weekly improvement, there has been a lack of enthusiasm on the part of buyers recently.
A2 Milk (A2M) is up 1 per cent on news it is expanding in South Korea. The infant formula company has signed an exclusive agreement with South Korea’s largest pharmaceutical company, Yuhan to help promote and distribute its products.
Seven West Media (SWM) is down 2.5 per cent. Note, SWM jumped 12 per cent Friday on news it has secured broadcasting rights for the cricket over the next six years. In a statement on Friday, SWM said this will cost the company $75m per annum.
Transurban (TCL) is up 0.4 per cent after announcing a 2.7 per cent lift in daily traffic numbers in Australia. Traffic on its toll roads have jumped in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane over the March quarter.
According to the Australian Institute of Petroleum (AIP), the national average price of unleaded petrol in capital cities fell by 0.6c to 138.9c/litre in the past week.
1.4bn shares have changed hands so far on Monday worth $1.3bn. 499 stocks are up, 474 are down and 375 are flat.
The focus locally this week will be on monthly jobs growth data, RBA minutes and quarterly updates from BHP Billiton (BHP), Rio Tinto (RIO), Woodside (WPL) and Santos (STO).
Monthly updates on China’s economy will be highlights offshore. This includes data on GDP, spending, investment and production (how active factories are) for the March quarter Tuesday.
Developments on conflict in Syria, US sanctions on Russia and trade tensions between China and the US will likely remain talking points this week.
Published by CommSec