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Wall St traded mostly flat on Monday before rallying in afternoon trade to close higher across the key indices as investors remain optimistic in the final trading weeks of 2023. Investors are looking ahead this week to the all-important Fed policy meeting and inflation data in the region which could see markets respond accordingly later in the week. The S&P500 closed 0.4% higher, the Nasdaq added 0.2% and the Dow Jones advanced 0.43%. Macy’s shares rallied over 20% on Monday after the retailer received a takeover offer worth US$5.8bn while tech stocks pulled back to close the session lower.
Over in Europe, markets in the region closed mostly higher on Monday as investors look ahead to the upcoming US FOMC meeting this week to determine the rate outlook for the world’s largest economy heading into 2024. Miners in the region weighed on the market while the European Blue-Chip index or the STOXX600 rose 0.4%. Germany’s DAX rose 0.21% on Monday, and the French CAC added 0.33%, but in the UK, the FTSE100 fell 0.13% at the session’s end.
Locally yesterday, the ASX200 rose just 0.06% as strong gains among energy stocks offset losses for materials, utilities and technology stocks. The gold miners took a hit yesterday amid the price of the precious commodity dipping below US$2000 during the trading session, with analysts blaming the strong jobs data out of the US last week as the catalyst for the decline in the price of gold. Iron ore miners on the other hand enjoyed a rally on Monday as the price of the commodity rose, attributed to China’s restocking demand for steel mills in the region.
Sigma Healthcare (ASX:SIG) was the story of the day yesterday after the company agreed to a ‘transformational merger’ with Chemist Warehouse to bring the leading retail pharmacy brand to the ASX through the creation of an $8.8bn retail giant. Shares in Sigma Healthcare remain in a trading halt but last traded at 76.25cps. Concerns over Star Entertainment Group (ASX:SGR) ’s ability to operate its Sydney-based casino sparked a further sell-off in the stock yesterday with shares closing the day down 8.7%, while Costa Group lost almost 4% yesterday after announcing earnings in CY23 would come in below that of 2022.
What to watch today: