All but five stocks in the 30-member Dow Jones Industrial Average increased, as the measure climbed 1.1 per cent to ...

All but five stocks in the 30-member Dow Jones Industrial Average increased, as the measure climbed 1.1 per cent to 17,908.28 today. Photo: Michael Nagle

Local shares are poised to lift as miners and base metals advanced on China’s trade data. Wall St rose on banks.

What you need2know

SPI futures up 37pts or 0.7% to 5074 at about 6.45am Sydney time

AUD at 76.51 US cents, 83.66 Japanese yen, 67.88 Euro cents and 53.89 British pence

On Wall St, Dow +1.1%, S&P 500 +1%, Nasdaq +1.6%

In Europe, Stoxx 50 +3.3%, FTSE +1.9%, CAC +3.3%, DAX +2.7%

In London, Anglo +11.1%, BHP +9.2%, Rio +7.6%, Glencore +6.7%

Spot gold -0.7% at $US1246.47 at 2.04pm New York time

Brent crude -1.3% to $US44.11 at 3.33pm New York time

Iron ore +2.1% to $US60.48

What’s on today

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull arrives in China for his first state visit, amid rising tension at home over China’s growing economic influence in the country. He departs on Friday.

Local data: Labour Force for Feb at 11.30am, NZ manufacturing PMI for March

International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde holds a press briefing after the IMF releases its updated Global Policy Agenda. Bank of England releases its latest interest rate decision, amid signs of a slowing economy and the pending June 23 referendum on continued UK membership in the European Union. Fed speakers: Atlanta chief Dennis Lockhart, Governor Jerome Powell

Overseas data: Singapore 1st-Qtr GDP; South Africa mining production (Feb.); Euro-area CPI (March); UK RICS house prices (March); US consumer prices (March), US jobless claims (weekly).

Overseas earnings: BlackRock, Bank of America, Wells Fargo & Co, PNC Financial Services Group, Delta Air Lines, Casino Guichard-Perrachon.


The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index, which tracks the greenback versus 10 peers, rose 0.7 per cent, after reaching a nine-month low Tuesday. The US currency added 0.7 per cent to $US1.1311 per euro, its strongest in two weeks, and gained 0.6 per cent to 109.17 yen.

San Francisco Federal Reserve president John Williams’ said on Tuesday that two or three interest rate increases this year was a reasonable call. Futures contracts indicate traders assign about a 51 per cent chance that the Fed will raise interest rates this year after liftoff from near zero in December.

South Africa’s rand gained as much as 1.1 per cent to 14.5344 per US dollar, the strongest level since December 9, when President Jacob Zuma unexpectedly removed Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene and replaced him with a little-known lawmaker, raising doubts about his commitment to fiscal targets. Yields on benchmark rand bonds due December 2026 dropped 11 basis points to 8.98 per cent, falling below 9 per cent for the first time since the start of the political crisis.


Ore with 62 per cent content delivered to Qingdao in China rose 2.1 per cent to $US60.48 a dry ton on Wednesday, the highest since March 8, according to Metal Bulletin. Prices have gained for three days, taking the advance this year to 39 per cent. That’s a turnaround from 2015, when the benchmark plummeted 39 per cent on a global glut and weakening steel demand in China.

OPEC on Wednesday cut its forecast for global oil demand growth in 2016 and warned of further reductions citing concern about Latin America and China, pointing to a larger supply surplus this year. The Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries also said top exporter Saudi Arabia kept output steady in March – a sign Riyadh is serious about a plan to be discussed this weekend to freeze output and support prices – while OPEC supply overall rose only slightly. World demand will grow by 1.20 million barrels per day in 2016, OPEC said in its monthly report, 50,000 bpd less than expected previously.

Copper rose 1 per cent to $US4816 a metric ton, leading industrial metals higher after China, the world’s biggest consumer, boosted foreign purchases to an all-time high. Aluminum advanced 1.4 per cent and nickel gained 1 per cent. 

Grain traders are shrugging off signs of bigger supplies and sending prices to their biggest rally in seven months on an improving outlook for Chinese demand. The Bloomberg Grains Subindex is up 3.4 per cent in two days, on pace for the largest such advance since mid-September. Soybean futures reached the highest since August, while corn rose to its highest this year.

United States

US stocks extended gains a second day to reach the highest in four months, buoyed by improving Chinese trade data and better-than-expected results from JPMorgan Chase & Co, the biggest US lender by assets.

JPMorgan advanced 4.2 per cent after reporting first-quarter profit was boosted by pay cuts and trading revenue that declined less than most analysts predicted. Companies that are popular targets by short sellers rallied today, with a Goldman Sachs Group gauge of the 50 most shorted stocks posting the biggest increase since March 2. Bank of America, the second-biggest US lender, and Wells Fargo, the top US mortgage bank, are scheduled to announce results on Thursday in the US. Citigroup reports on Friday, and Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs release results next week.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index rose 1 per cent to 2082.42 at 4pm in New York, the highest since December 4. Volume on US exchanges was 8.1 per cent higher than the 30-day average. All but five stocks in the 30-member Dow Jones Industrial Average increased, as the measure climbed 1.1 per cent to 17,908.28 today. Futures contracts in pre-market trading held onto gains after releases showed US retail sales and wholesale prices unexpectedly slumped last month, stoking speculation the Federal Reserve may slow the pace of further rate increases.

“While US numbers were a little weak, it’s a strong day overseas and China data was much better than expected,” Mark Kepner, an equity trader at Chatham, New Jersey-based Themis Trading, said by phone. “While JPMorgan had a tough quarter, they still beat estimates. If earnings come in better than expected – with expectations so low – if we have even a decent beat, you may see us break out.”


European shares rose on Wednesday to a two-week high, with mining stocks and banks among the best performers.

Cassa Lombarda economist Marco Vailati said “Investors may be rushing to cover short positions with volatile markets creating profit opportunities, such as in the case of Italian banks which have gone through wild price swings.” Italy’s bank stocks index rose 8.6 per cent, recovering from a sell-off on Tuesday, after Italian Economy Minister Pier Carlo Padoan said there was no risk that European authorities will block the fund set up to help buy shares in upcoming stock issues at distressed lenders and purchase soured loans.

The surge in Italian banks helped Europe’s bank index rise 6.3 per cent, its biggest one-day gain in more than four years. Italy’s UniCredit rose 10.6 per cent and Germany’s Deutsche Bank jumped 9.9 per cent, with sentiment in the sector helped by JP Morgan reporting a quarterly profit that topped low market expectations.

Greece’s benchmark index ATG fell 0.8 per cent, down for a third straight day, amid further signs that Athens was making little progress on securing the money it needs from creditors to pay upcoming bills.

What happened yesterday

Australian shares surged back over the 5000 mark on Wednesday as rallying commodity prices sent resources names soaring and banks gained for a second day. 

All sectors finished in the green, with mining shares shooting up over 3 per cent, energy stocks 2.5 per cent and the banks nearly 2 per cent. The local market finished the day at its highs, with the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index up 1.6 per cent to 5054.7 and the broader All Ordinaries up 1.5 per cent to 5127.2.