The market is up 54. The Dow Jones was up 126highest close of all time on the Dow — 14,253, eclipsing the high of 14,198 hit in October 2007. It was up 159 at best on lighter than average volumes. SFE Futures were up 20 this morning.

Global markets were helped overnight by news that Chinese government has maintained a GDP growth target of 7.5% for 2013 and plan on a 10% increase in spending to support China’s economy.

The US ISM services index was up to 56.0 in February beating the forecast of 55.0. This was the highest reading in a year. The exports factor hit the highest level in almost six years.

US 10-year bond yield was up 1bpt to 1.889%.

Best sectors — technology (+1.6%), industrials (+1.4%), telecoms (+1.0%) and financials (+0.8%).

European markets up — UK FTSE up 1.36%, German DAX up 2.32%, France up 2.09%, Spain up 2.15%, Italy up 2.78%.

Metals up — copper up 0.59%, nickel up 1.41%, aluminium up 0.22%, lead up 0.33%. Spot iron ore was down $3.60 to $145.20. Gold up $2.70 to $1575.10. Oil up 63c to $90.75.

  • Volatility — Before February 21 when the ASX 200 fell 118 points (the start of the recent market nervousness) the ASX 200 had moved more than 50 points six times in the previous 142 trading days. Since then we have moved more than 50 points six times in the last ten days and the US has moved more than 100 points six times in the last 10 days.
  • Banks lead, resources fade — The new uncertainty is driving a return of risk aversion and the banks are the beneficiary at the expense of the resources sector. Since the market’s recent stumble on February 21 the ASX 200 is down 6 points but the banks have contributed +46 points and BHP and RIO have contributed minus 55 points.
  • GDP figures in line — The economy expanded by 0.6% in the final three months of 2012 which in line with the consensus forecast. The annual growth was 3.1% in the year to December also in line.
  • Flinders Mines (FMS) — Shares have gone up on the back of the company announcing a major deal with four Chinese steel mills that could lead to iron ore sales from its major project. FMS is up 5.56% to 7.6c.
  • JP Morgan — Says the share market rally is unsustainable and the market will run out of steam.
  • NAB — Is looking to slash $900 million in costs over the next five years through a reduction of IT spending and jobs. NAB is up 2.04% to 3121.5c.
  • Fed Beige book out in the US tonight — the monthly economic summary by federal district.
  • The ADP Employment number is out in the US tonight — a pre-cursor to the main jobs numbers on Friday. Unemployment is expected to remain at 7.9% — the Fed are targeting 6.5% before tightening monetary policy.

Peter Fray

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