The market is up 52 points.

The Dow Jones rose 109 points to 16,010 — the first close above 16,000. The index has briefly traded above the key level for the previous three days but today managed to maintain the level, and the market closed near its highs in a 122 point range.

The S&P was up 14 to 1796.

Oil was flat at US$93.34.

Gold fell US$16.00 to US$1242.00 per ounce.

The US$ was weaker against most major currencies. The Aussie dollar was weaker after comments by RBA Governor Glenn Stevens which suggested currency intervention was a possibility to manage the currency’s rise.

The $A is currently trading at US$0.9231.

VIX volatility index fell 5.52% to 12.66.

US treasury markets were weaker — the yield on the 10 year bond fell two basis points to 2.791%.

European shares were mixed — with the French CAC down 0.34% and the German DAX down 0.07% following disappointing Flash Eurozone Composite PMI numbers. The UK FTSE was flat.

European bonds were flat, with the yield on the Euro, French and German 10 year bonds all unchanged. The peripheral markets were slightly weaker.

Base metal prices were mixed — Nickel fell 0.74% but copper was up 0.49% and aluminium and zinc were also stronger.

Iron ore fell US$0.10 to US$136.30 a tonne.

STORIES

  • David Jones (DJS) AGM — Chairman Peter Mason has apologised to shareholders over concerns about two board members buying shares in the company days before it released better-than-expected sales figures. The company has also come under pressure to find a replacement after CEO Paul Zahra decided to stand down.
  • The Dow Jones has closed above 16,000 for the first time. This follows three days where the index traded above the key level intra-day but dropped before the close.
  • Janet Yellen is closer to the Chair. The Senate Committee has approved (14 to 8) Yellen’s nomination following her hearing last week and have forwarded her nomination to the full Senate for a final vote. She is considered likely to gain the 60 necessary votes (of 100) to secure the top job.
  • The RBA Governor Glenn Stevens has not ruled out using currency intervention to weaken the Aussie dollar, but indicated there would be costs involved. Stevens was speaking at a dinner marking the 30th anniversary of the currency’s float. He said “It remains part of the toolkit”. The $A fell on the news, touching US 92.03c before stabilising at US 92.20c.
  • AGMs today — Goodman Group (GMG), Goodman Fielder (GFF), AVJennings (AVJ), Jetset Travelworld (JET), Fleetwood (FWD), Capilano Honey (CZZ), Duet Group (DUE), Gindalbie Metals (GBG).
  • No economic data domestically and nothing much important tonight overseas.
  • Gold fell to a new four-month low as signs that the US economy is improving has triggered selling among investors.
  • Qantas Airways (QAN) — The ACCC will conduct an investigation over the potential misuse of market power in relation to their move to add capacity on air routes in a bid to gain control of 65% of the domestic airline market. Such a move is forbidden as it uses their substantial market share for the purposes of eliminating or substantially damaging a competitor.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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