ASX 200 Futures were up 4. The Dow Jones finished up 65. The Dow was up 204 at best but lost steam towards the end of the session to close up but below its open.

The US ISM manufacturing survey rebounded to 50.9 from 49 in June beating the forecast of 50.1, although it wasn’t exactly a strong number.

US construction spending missed the forecast of +0.7% to be +0.5% in May the highest level in almost four years. US 10-year bond yield was down 1bpt to 2.48%.

Best sectors — financials, health care, materials, technology. Worst sectors — telecommunication services, utilities.

European markets up — UK FTSE up 1.49%, Germany up 0.31%, France up 0.76%, Spain up 1.86%, Italy up 1.45%.

The eurozone manufacturing PMI was revised up to 48.8 from the flash estimate of 48.7. Spain’s reading came in at 50 and was the strongest performer amongst out of the big four.

The eurozone unemployment rate was up from 12.0% to 12.1% in May ahead of the forecast of 12.3%.

Metals up — copper up 3.71%, nickel up 1.85%, aluminium up 3.14%, zinc up 2.03%.

Spot iron ore up 40c to $116.90. Gold was up $28.00 to $1251.70. Oil was up $1.51 to $98.07.

BHP and RIO up 0.35% and 1.14% in ADR form in the US with BHP closing at the equivalent of 3131c up 37c on last night’s close here.

  • QBE — Has given an update on their Global Operational Transformation program. They expect 1H premium rate increases to be in line with expectations at 5%. They also expect 1H investment yield to be in line with guidance at 2.25%. Shares are up 1.83%. QBE is up 2.61% to 1570c.
  • News Corp was formally split in two after the market closed last Friday. Existing shareholders received one New News Corp (NNC) share for every four shares they held in the media company. The media company News Corp was renamed to 21st Century FOX (FOX). Shares of both entities began trading normally today. NNC is down 4.93% to 1579c.
  • Brambles (BXB 908c) — the world’s largest pallet supplier — is looking to divest their Recall information management business and list it on the ASX. Recall generated revenue of $US845 million in 2012 and profit of $US174 million. UBS have a Neutral on the stock with a target price of 880c. They think the stock is trading at a 30% premium to their Australian peers although the company has a strong market position and benefits from a falling Aussie dollar. BXB is up 1.05% to 917.5c.

Peter Fray

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