Market Report with Paul Wareing - Feb 21, 2017
Written on the 21 February 2017We had a pretty good week all in all on the local market last week. This came on the back of a a good NAB Business Survey that saw confidence nudging feel good levels akin to pre-GFC numbers. The service industries were a stand out and high commodity prices gave a boost to the mining sector. In fact , iron ore prices were up a further 7% last week, up to $92 per tonne - happy days! There was also a slight improvement in the employment numbers although this was somewhat tempered by the concentration of part time jobs versus full time. Commonwealth Bank produced some great profit numbers and bumped up there dividend payout - perhaps a sign they don't expect to raise any capital in the near future.
Overseas, the Dow Jones kept edging into new record territory, with the US$ and Bond markets observing from the sidelines. Federal Reserve head Janet Yellen hinted at interest rate rises in the near future with "pre-emptive" moves on the card where necessary. We still await the "phenomenal" tax announcement from The Donald. In Europe we focus on the spate of elections coming up in 2017. In France , the Far Right seem to be picking up momentum at the moment but if we've learned anything in the last 12 months , it's to take opinion polls with a healthy dose of salt.This week, the local reporting season continues with the miners in the spotlight. There should be some good numbers coming out but with a possible cautious outlook given these current high prices. We have construction numbers on Wednesday which may illustrate that September quarters weakness was weather influenced and things may have improved. On Thursday we have business investment data and commentators will be looking for a follow through of heightened business confidence into business investment into non-mining sectors . Globally, data is pretty thin on the ground but,as always, we look to The Donald.
In conclusion, should the White House make its' announcements on tax and fiscal stimulus, there may be the potential for a bit of profit taking on US and local markets. Here, eyes will be on how long the iron ore price can hold up at these levels and how far it may pull back. Given inflation is hovering below 2% and employment numbers are still grinding out some positive numbers, the RBA is pretty much tied to current interest rate levels. A cautious week ahead and hopefully not too many shocks in the company reports.
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