Apple’s launch of its new iPhone range was met with a mixed reaction on Wall Street. (Supplied: Twitter)
Australian shares are likely to start the day higher, following solid leads from global markets overnight.
Markets at 7:30am (AEST):
- ASX SPI 200 futures +0.4pc at 5,770, ASX 200 (Tuesday close) +0.6pc at 5,775
- AUD: 80.19 US cents, 60.37 British pence, 67.02 euro cents, 88.32 Japanese yen, NZ$1.10
- US: Dow Jones +0.3pc 22,119, S&P 500 +0.3pc at 2,496, Nasdaq +0.3pc 6,454
- Europe: FTSE -0.2pc at 7,401, DAX +0.4pc at 12,525, Euro Stoxx 50 +0.5pc at 3,513
- Commodities: Brent crude +0.8pc at $US54.27/barrel, spot gold +0.4pc at $US1,332/ounce, iron ore +2.5pc at $US76.37/tonne
Risk-on sentiment has returned since the weekend as global markets were relieved that Hurricane Irma’s financial impact was not as bad as expected, and North Korea did not launch any further missile tests.
As more investors put their funds in shares and the US dollar, traditional safe-haven assets like gold and the Japanese yen weakened slightly.
European stocks also rose to a five-week high, led by gains in financial and industrial stocks.
What happened on Wall St?
The S&P 500 hit a fresh record for the second day in a row, up 0.3 per cent to 2,496.
Nearly every sector posted trading gains, except for utilities. Some of the best performing stocks were in the energy and financial sectors.
Financial stocks were boosted by an uplift in government debt yields, as the benchmark 10-year Treasury yield rose to trade at 2.17 per cent — its highest level since early September.
Investors also paid attention to public comments by US Treasury secretary Steve Mnuchin about “tax reform” on Tuesday.
Mr Mnuchin said he was “incredibly hopeful” that by the end of this year a “competitive” tax rate for businesses would be introduced, with retrospective effect from January 1.
Apple also unveiled its latest offerings on Wednesday morning (AEST) — including the new iPhone X (to mark the 10th anniversary of its smartphone).
The technology giant also unveiled a new iWatch, which make calls without needing to link it with an iPhone like its previous watch models.
During the launch event Apple’s shares had some wild swings — falling by 1 per cent, and rising by as much as 1.5 per cent.
Apple’s shares finished 0.4 per cent lower at the close of Wall Street’s trading day.
Meanwhile, US energy shares received a boost from rising oil prices.
This was after OPEC (the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) forecast higher demand in 2018, and Russia and Venezuela confirmed their commitment to a deal that would cut production, in an attempt to reduce the global crude oversupply.
OPEC also said in its monthly report that Hurricanes Harvey and Irma would have a “negligible” impact on oil demand.
During the Wall Street trading session, an upbeat economic release from the Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed there were a record number of job vacancies — according to the JOLTS (Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary) report for July.
Vacancies rose to a high of 6.17 million, while the “quits rate” rose slightly to 2.2 per cent
Australian market today
ASX futures have risen by 0.4 per cent, pointing to the local share market’s likely higher opening.
Iron ore prices lifted 2.5 per cent overnight, which should bode well for the share prices of big miners BHP and Rio Tinto.
It will be a quiet day for local economic data. Westpac and the Melbourne Institute will release the results of their monthly consumer confidence survey.
Last month’s drop was due mainly to concerns about slow wage growth, higher power costs, and rising interest rates.