The ASX started the week on a positive note closing yesterday’s session in the green. Utilities led the market yesterday, while tech stocks came under pressure. Gold stocks were also sold off with the price of the commodity down almost half a per cent.
Energy stocks advanced on the price of oil rallying more than 2% on Friday following strong earnings results out of the U.S. Yesterday however, oil fell 1.4% to trade below US$76/barrel on weak Chinese manufacturing activity data.
Overnight, US equities declined as investors prepare for the Fed’s meeting. Investors were focused on the banking sector, following the announcement that JP Mogan won the auction for First Republic Bank.
On another note, investors are also watching out for news on the debt ceiling, after Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warned the US may run out of measures to pay its debts as early as June 1st.
What to watch today:
- Following New York overnight, the SPI futures are suggesting the Australian market will open 0.07% lower this morning.
- In commodities:
- Oil has extended a two-week decline, as unexpected weak manufacturing Chinese data raised demand concerns for the crude importer.
- Iron ore continues to decline due to the low demand from Chinese steelmakers.
- Looking at the gold price – overall for April, the gold price increased for the second consecutive month. Currently however, gold is trading lower as investors await another rate hike by the Fed this week. The Fed is widely expected to raise rates by 25 basis points on Wednesday, in response to robust US economic data and persistent inflationary pressures.
- That brings us over to economic news this week, as other central banks including the European Central Bank and the RBA are also announcing monetary policy decisions this week. At 2:30pm today, the RBA will announce the latest interest rate decision for May with much of the market now expecting a second consecutive pause.
- Bell Potter have upgraded their recommendation on GrainCorp (ASX:GNC) from a Hold to a Buy, and maintain their price target of $8.00. At the stock’s current share price of $6.95, this implies 15.1% share price growth in a year.
- Trading Central has identified a bearish signal in oOh media (ASX:OML) indicating that the stock price may fall from the close of $1.61 to the range of $1.50 to $1.52 over 20 days, according to the standard principles of technical analysis.