The market is up 35. ASX 200 Futures were up 24 this morning and the Dow Jones was up 87 on below average volumes last night. The Dow was up 88 at best on no major economic data and closed above the 15,000 level for the first time. The German DAX hit a new all time high of 8205.97.

US consumer credit was below expectations — up by US$7.97 billion in March, down from +$18.63 billion in February and below forecasts of +$16 billion. It was the first time since September 2012 that consumer credit did not increase by at least $10 billion. Weekly chain store sales were up 2.3% on a year ago but down from 2.5% in the previous week.

US 10-year bond yield was up down 1bpt to 1.78%. US treasury sold $32 billion in three-year bonds and $20 billion in four-week Treasury bills to strong demand. The VIX (Volatility Index) up 1.34%.

Best sectors — energy, industrials, materials. Worst sectors — healthcare, technology. European markets up — UK FTSE up 0.55%, German DAX up 0.86%, France up 0.37%, Spain up 0.47%, Italy up 1.54%.

Metals mixed — copper up 0.06%, nickel down 0.20%, zinc down 0.82%, aluminium up 0.04%.

  • Chinese trade numbers beat expectations. Jan-Apr iron ore Imports were 250 million tonnes up 3.9% on year. The Aussie dollar rose to US$1.0192 from US$1.0165.
  • Seven West Media (SWM) — Investor Day has forecast a small fall in financial year profit and says it has seen the worst of an industry-wide advertising glut. This has sparked a rally in its shares. CEO Don Voelte said “Net profit in the year to June 30 will be a few million down on last year’s net profit …probably 2-4% underlying.”
  • CSL is down 5% in early trade after media reports that an Alzheimer’s therapy by Baxter failed in late stage trial, a therapy that would require CSL’s products.
  • Perpetual (PPT 4101c) — Has made a counterbid for the trust company (TRU) at 639c (now 627c). It will boost funds under management. A positive for the share price going forward. TRU have already had a bid from Equity Trustees, a bid that was dismissed as materially undervaluing the company but TRU. The PPT bid is 11% higher. UBS have a Sell recommendation on PPT with a target price of 3200c. PPT is up 3.15% to 4230c.
  • Australia’s unemployment numbers tomorrow. Unemployment rate expected to remain steady at 5.6% in April

Peter Fray

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