Markets Live: Fiscal cliff fears prevail
Australian shares end lower, but off the day's lows, in the wake of another heavy sell-off on Wall Street where fears of a fiscal cliff dominated.
- Weak mining investment hurts growth forecasts
- Origin shocks investors with profit warning
- Lynas calls for cash after share rally
- What is the fiscal cliff?
5.32pm: And that wraps up another week of Markets Live, we hope you've enjoyed this busy week as much as we have.
Enjoy you weekends and see you Monday at 9.30am.
4.55pm: Shares to watch on Monday: Orica has flagged a hefty $367 million write-down in the value of its Minova equipment division.
The write-down, will slash its year to September net profit to $400 million, it said. This is well down from the analyst forecasts of a net proift of around $650 million for the year.
The net profit before the write-off is expected to be $650 million, it said, which is up marginally from last year's net profit of $642 million.
No reason for the write-off was given in the statement that was released after the close of the market. The company will post its earnings on Monday.
4.32pm: Chinese retail sales and industrial production are in and both sets of data are at the top end of expectations:
- Retail sales rose 14.5 per cent y/y in October, after 14.2 per cent in September.
- Industrial production grew 9.6 per cent, after 9.2 per cent in September.
4.16pm: For the week, the ASX200 posted a minimal gain of less than 0.1 per cent.
4.14pm: The main drag on the market was the financial sector, down 0.8 per cent, with both NAB and Westpac trading ex-dividend. Energy also lost 0.8 per cent, while materials fell 0.5 per cent.
Health stocks gained 0.8 per cent and the gold sub-index was up 0.6 per cent.
4.12pm: The sharemarket has closed lower. The benchmark S&P/ASX200 lost 21.8 points, or 0.5 per cent, halving its early losses. The broader All Ords dropped 19.7 points, or 0.4 per cent, to 4482.5.
4.05pm: Late snippet of information:
Friday Fast Fact: Online sales now represents 5.3% of retail spending. via @absstats— D&B Small Business (@DnB_SmallBiz) November 9, 2012
3.54pm: The prospect of US political wrangling over the fiscal cliff has deepened uncertainty for investors, who have sold stocks on expectations that taxes on capital gains and dividends will go up.
"This is a major concern for investors and the market may fall further next week when Congress reconvenes on November 13," says Eiji Kinouchi, chief technical analyst at Daiwa Securities.
3.50pm: So much for shares staging a comeback - the ASX200 has clearly passed its peak for the day and is again deep in the red, down 0.7 per cent.
3.48pm: Looking at risks to America's already modest economic growth, NAB says:
- While the fiscal cliff may cause some turbulence, if it is scaled back (as expected), growth will likely strengthen in 2013.
- We expect GDP will grow by 2.2% in 2012 and 2.4% in 2013.
- Hurricane Sandy is a downside risk for December quarter growth; but upside risk for subsequent quarters.
- It is likely that the Fed will announce additional asset purchases to start following the completion of Operation Twist at the end of this year.
3.41pm: Some more on the Chinese inflation numbers: the combination of lower CPI and recovering PPI growth implies benign inflationary pressures amidst a gradual growth recovery, HSBC says:
We believe China's inflation outlook will stay benign in the coming months. With a negative output gap, headline CPI is likely to stay below 3%, despite the likely modest rebound not least because of a less favourable base effect.
This leaves room for Beijing to maintain an easing bias to consolidate China's growth recovery, given continued external headwinds especially with the US' looming fiscal cliff. Open market operation tools are likely to be preferred options for the central bank in the near term.
3.31pm: It was another day of red numbers across the ASX with traders being in a ‘risk off’ frame of mind amid concerns over the potential trouble brewing in the US and Europe, says CMC Markets trader Tim Waterer:
- Ex-dividend trading in the financial sector also weighed on the local index today, however stocks did recover some ground after the lower Chinese CPI allayed some fears.
- Focus will now be on further Chinese data due for release after the Australian market closes including retail sales and industrial production numbers.
3.20pm: Julia Gillard stands by forecasts for the budget to return to surplus, but says she is concerned about the implications for the Australian economy from the so-called fiscal cliff in the United States.
The fiscal cliff, the predicted effect of a combination of legislated tax increases and spending cuts is expected to drive the US back into recession next year, unless steps are taken to avert it.
There are also rising fears that if the world’s biggest economy is in trouble again, others could be dragged over the edge with it.
The Prime Minister, who has been meeting with about a dozen world leaders in Bali, says she is concerned about the implications for global finances and the Australian economy, but insists that her government will still deliver a budget surplus next year as promised.
3.09pm: Bank of Queensland’s chief executive was paid $1.8 million, including a half million dollar bonus, in the same year the company made a loss.
BoQ posted a loss of $17 million in the year to August 31, the first by a local bank in two decades.
The bank’s annual report shows chief executive Stuart Grimshaw’s remuneration in the year to August totalled $1.8 million, which included about $1.6 million in cash. His salary was $1.04 million, lower than the $1.55 million paid to previous chief executive David Liddy in the previous year.
2.58pm: Here's the regular video of the week's highlights - A busy week at the top end of town:
Please turn off auto-refresh at the top of the site before watching this video.
Ratings agencies around the globe astonished by Federal Court, Westpac’s Gail Kelly came out smelling of roses, and BHP Billiton after Marius Kloppers.
2.45pm: Great read on the secretive and sometimes brutal promotion process at Goldman Sachs:
The phone call lasts just a few seconds. The words "congratulations, you've become a partner", are just about all Lloyd Blankfein, the boss of Goldman Sachs, will have time to say to the 85 or so bank high-flyers he will ring next Wednesday to invite into one of the most prestigious and lucrative cliques on Wall Street.
It is a day of huge expectation for individuals spanning time zones from Sydney to New York who are waiting to hear that they have been given a role for which there is no job advert and no interview.
The whittling down of the candidates is under way this week in Goldman Sachs's head office in New York. Stretching across several days, a team of partners led by London-based Michael "Woody" Sherwood are deciding upon whom to bestow the glittering title of Goldman Sachs partner.
2.24pm: Lest we forget - ANZ has just announced its rates decision: no change. No surprise there.
So much for the talk about ANZ setting the pace on interest rates in Australia. For now, and the forseeable future, the RBA remains the main game in town.
2.21pm: After a week that was dominated by the US elections the week ahead will probably seem relatively quiet, although economic data releases are far from few. Here’s an overview, courtesy of CBA Economics:
- In Australia, the week begins with the September housing finance release. CBA expects home loans to continue to show a modest improvement, increasing by 0.9% in the month with the value of these loans rising by 3.7%. Other credit data will be also released on Tuesday, with the September lending finance data.
- On the same day, the RBA’s Jonathon Kearn will speak on housing issues to Australian Business Economists in Sydney.
- On Wednesday, the Westpac-Melbourne Institute Consumer Sentiment survey for November is likely to stay in “pessimistic” territory.
- The wage price index for Q3, released on the same day, will be an important reading of inflationary pressures as well as any signs of noticeable productivity improvements. On CBA estimates, the wage price index will increase by 0.9% over the quarter, to be 3.9% higher over the year. This will suggest contained inflationary pressures that do not threaten the RBA’s 2-3% target band.
2.15pm: The ASX200 is well off the day's lows now, down about 0.4 per cent, as a 0.3 per cent rise in Dow futures signals a pause on Wall Street after two days of heavy selling.
2.05pm: Mining equipment supplier Emeco is still the biggest loser among the top 200, down 16 per cent, after the company lowered its first-half profit guidance from $29 million to between $23 million and $26 million.
1.57pm: Insolvencies jumped 10 per cent in the first quarter of this financial yea to 2807, ASIC reports:
- All states and territories, except for the ACT, experienced a rise in insolvency appointments compared to the previous quarter, although the national September quarter total was marginally below the September quarter in 2011 (2961).
- New South Wales was up 11.1%, Victoria was up 2.3% , Queensland was up 9.8%, South Australia was up 28.4%, Western Australia was up 21.3%, Tasmania was up 105.3% and Northern Territory was up 57.1%. Only the ACT recorded a decrease (down 13.2%).
1.45pm: Mining contractor Macmahon has cut staff and pay in response to a weakening resources sector.
Newly appointed chief executive Ross Carroll said staff cuts have been made since a company review was completed on October 31, but did not say how many staff lost their jobs.
The company has also introduced a hiring freeze, reduced its office space and cut discretionary spending Carroll said. In addition, executives have agreed to take a 10 per cent pay cut for the remainder of the 2012-13 financial year.
1.27pm: The dollar, meanwhile is struggling to hang on to $US1.04, while interest rate futures see a 56 per cent chance of a rate cut in December.
Easy Forex currency dealer Tony Darvall says the dollar lost a little ground in the morning session after US stocks fell overnight:
- That was coupled with some increased tensions in the Middle East and a Pentagon report earlier this morning about Iran firing at an unarmed drone. That helped sell off risk assets like the Australian dollar.
- US and European stocks fell after the European Central Bank kept its interest rate on hold and amid renewed concerns about the Greece financial crisis.
- The attention has now shifted away from the US elections and back to Europe and the problems we are having in that part of the world.
1.23pm: The lines CommSec picked up from the monetary policy statement echo what RBA governor Glenn Stevens said in the bank's statement on Tuesday following the decision to keep rates on hold:
While the impact of these changes takes some time to work through the economy, there are signs of easier conditions starting to have some of the expected effects …
Further effects of actions already taken to ease monetary policy can be expected over time.
1.18pm: Have interest rates bottomed? CommSec asks after reading the RBA Statement on Monetary Policy:
The Reserve Bank has retired to the interest rate sidelines to assess the impact of the three rate cuts over 2012: “there are signs that easier conditions have been having some of the expected effects, and further effects can be expected over time.”
The Reserve Bank believes it has done enough for now, CommSec says:
- Rates were cut in May and June and the RBA followed this up with another rate cut in October. The RBA is of the view that the rate cuts are starting to work to lift growth.
- So for now it has retired to the sidelines to assess the impact of the last, and previous, rate cuts.
- So have rates bottomed? The optimists hope so; the pessimists are focused on the problems in Europe and the “fiscal cliff” in the US.
1.13pm: Some more on Chinese inflation, which came in at 1.7 per cent y/y, staying below 2 per cent for the second consecutive month.
"This suggests that the inflation would not be a concern in the short term, supporting PBOC’s current accommodative monetary policy," says ANZ.
1.04pm: Earlier, Deutsche Bank told its clients additional funding would be needed for Lynas to get it through to first cash flows, since it faced a prospective three-month minimum commissioning period.
It forecast Lynas would need $120 million to cover any further operational delays, provide the working capital needed for phase 1 and phase 2 start-ups, along with funding for any overruns.
1.00pm: Some more on Lynas capital raising, courtesy of BusinessDay's Brian Robins:
Lynas is set to test the support of its shareholders by seeking to raise another $200 million to strengthen its balance sheet after extended delays in starting up its Malaysian refinery.
It is to raise $150 million via two sets of institutional placements, with the remaining $50 million to come from other shareholders via a share purchase plan. The placement and offering is priced at 75 cents, a slight discount to its close yesterday of 80 cents.
The flagged $200 million raising should help overcome the company’s immediate funding issues.
12.55pm: And more still on the RBA statement, this time from HSBC chief economist Paul Bloxham, who said the bank was giving little indication of what its next move on interest rates would be. On Tuesday the bank left interest rates on hold. Mr Bloxham said the statement was "not particularly directional":
They’ve lowered their growth forecasts and lifted their expectations for inflation, but have given little indication of where rates will go. However, the commentary on rising inflation, and its relationship to the high Australian dollar, suggested they could be forced to ease the cash rate again in the mid-term. With the impact of the high exchange rate starting to wear off on inflation, that might leave them less room to move on rates.
12.49pm: More on the RBA's quarterly statement from BusinessDay's Clancy Yeates, who says today is the third time the Reserve Bank has downgraded its outlook for the economy this year.
In February, it forecast the economy would grow by between 3 per cent and 3.5 per cent in the year to June 2013, and 3 to 4 per cent in the 2013 calendar year.
Now it says growth will be a more subdued 2.75 per cent in the year to June, and 2.25 to 3.25 per cent in the 2013 calendar year.
12.38pm:BREAKING NEWS Chinese inflation has slowed to 1.7% in October.
12.36pm: The share market is trading lower, but some of the earlier losses have been made up. Just before lunch, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was down 25.3 points, or 0.6 per cent, at 4458.5 points, while the broader All Ordinaries index had fallen 23.6 points, or 0.5 per cent, to 4478.6 points.
IG Markets market analyst Cameron Peacock said the local market had followed US markets downwards, but about half of the fall could be attributed to the National Australia Bank and Westpac trading ex-dividend.
‘‘The rest is the fear of the ‘fiscal cliff’ negotiations (in the US),’’ Mr Peacock said.‘‘People are taking the cautious option and want to see some resolution between the Democrats and the Republicans.’’
12.30pm: There might be better news for the dollar soon with possible signs that the Chinese economy is picking up.
China’s central bank governor and statistics chief have indicated that October data to be published from today will show growth improving this quarter.
‘‘There have been indications from the Chinese administration that the data are going to be more upbeat,’’ said Andrew Salter, an ANZ currency strategist. ‘‘If that’s the case, you’d expect to see the Aussie dollar somewhat higher.’’
‘‘China is not in for a hard landing,’’ said Neel Kashkari, head of global equities at Pimco yesterday. ‘‘It is slowing but we think the transition overall will be successful. We think they will get their big policy moves right.’’
12.23pm: BREAKING NEWS National Australia Bank will pay $85 million in a settlement of a class action relating to its heavy losses over toxic subprime home loans in the United States.
The action, taken by shareholders, was settled on Friday, pending court approval. NAB said it would pay $85 million, plus an allowance for interest and costs when the case is settled in full.
NAB company secretary Michaela Healey said the settlement does not indicate an admission of liability by the bank.
‘‘The settlement of the class action is a purely commercial decision made in the interests of our shareholders,’’ she said.
12.21pm: The dollar has taken a bit of a hit from the RBA's downbeat Statement on Monetary Policy. With weaker acommodity prices and a high exchange rate making companies less willing to invest, the bank has dropped GDP growth forecasts for 2013 to below 2.75 per cent, compared with a forecast of 3.0 per cent in its previous statement in August.
Trading a touch above $US1.0400 before the data was released, the dollar dropped to $US1.0383 soon after the RBA broke the news at 11.30.
‘‘The risks are that we see 2013 as a year of potentially below-trend growth,’’ said Jonathan Cavenagh, a currency strategist at Westpac in Singapore. ‘‘This will nudge up the odds that we see a December rate cut. Some of the headlines are certainly going to take the shine off the currency as well.’’
12.01pm: More on Lynas which entered into a trading halt this morning to raise fresh funds as it moved quickly to tap into improved investor sentiment after its quick 10 per cent rally yesterday.
BusinessDay’s Brian Robins says the focus is now firmly on its balance sheet - and its need for cash. Lynas needs to finalise a new working capital facility ‘‘imminently’’, JP Morgan told its clients in a note earlier today.
We estimate Lynas will have only $14 million in unrestricted cash by yearend. Given there is still a five month ramp-up period to come, Lynas is looking to secure a new working capital facility.
We believe it has been difficult for Lynas to finalise arrangements with financial institutions until a firm start-date for the LAMP was achieved and this underlines the importance of the resolution to the court proceedings, notwithstanding any further appeals.
Before the outcome to yesterday’s court ruling, analysts had around a $1.50 valuation for Lynas shares, although few have been willing to recommend clients buy into Lynas until all of the legal and operational issues surrounding the Malaysian refinery are closer to resolution.
11.54am: BP and lawyers representing over 100,000 individuals and businesses claiming economic and medical damages from the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill urged a US judge to approve a proposed $US7.8 billion class-action settlement.
US District Judge Carl Barbier initially approved the deal in May, but called the "fairness hearing" to weigh objections from about 13,000 claimants challenging the settlement to resolve some of BP's liability for the worst offshore oil spill in US history.
BP still faces civil and potential criminal liability charges brought by the US government and US states.
11.45am: Australian Communications and Media Authority has launched legal action against internet provider TPG over alleged failures to give access to the 000 emergency call service.
‘The ACMA alleges that TPG Internet breached the Telecommunications (Emergency Call Service) Determination 2009 (the Determination) by failing to give certain customers and other end-users access to the Triple Zero emergency call service. The failures to give access are alleged to have occurred over a period of approximately six months between March 2011 and September 2011.
‘All Australians need to be assured that their telecommunications provider attaches the utmost priority to Triple Zero access,’ said ACMA Chairman, Chris Chapman. ‘We take any issues with access to the Triple Zero service very seriously.’
11.38am: Tokyo stocks have opened down 1.07 per cent with the yen strengthening amid investor jitters over the looming US ‘‘fiscal cliff’’.
The Nikkei 225 index at the Tokyo Stock Exchange was 94.47 points lower at 8,742.68.
‘‘While Japanese stock valuations remain fundamentally cheap, the external negatives are too much for the market to overcome, and selling will likely take the major indexes down,’’ said Hiroichi Nishi, general manager of equities at SMBC Nikko Securities.
11.30am: World domination could be on the agenda for Australian technology minnow eServGlobal, whose shares have doubled in the past month, writes Under the Radar's Richard Hemming.
eServGlobal is trying its level best to emphasise its third syllable. Currently trading on a market cap of $84 million, it aims to clip the ticket on literally billions of dollars of mobile phone transactions as the diaspora of Africa and India send their hard-earned foreign currency home, bypassing the traditional banking system.
Its stock's recent rise has been helped in no small way by UK stockbroker Hargreave Hale. Yesterday, eServ said that the broker's clients now own almost 6 per cent of its shares.
11.18am: Here's an interesting read from BusinessDay's economics correspondent Peter Martin, a decade ago an Australian man who had just turned 50 could expect to live another 29.9 years. Today the official figure is 32 years. Even the past year has made an enormous difference. A year ago a man turning 50 could officially expect an extra 31.7 rather than 32 years.
The extraordinary jump in longevity detailed in the new Bureau of Statistics life tables is playing havoc with Australia's superannuation system. Australians who get their super in a lump sum are increasingly likely to exhaust it before they die, and even Australians who take it out gradually at recommended rates are facing the same fate.
11.08am: Australia will sign up for a second round of the Kyoto Protocol environmental protection treaty.
"Today I can announce that Australia is ready to join a second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol," Climate Minister Greg Combet said in a speech.
11.05am: We admit, one thing this blog is lacking is cuteness. So here is an entrepreneurial story with a double-dose of the stuff to brighten up your Friday.
10.59am: The fiscal cliff is on everyone's mind at the moment - see this twitter post for example:
Fiscal cliff among top 3 corporate concerns voiced on earnings calls this season, accd to Goldman Sachs. on.mktw.net/Z8Sqlc— Wallace Witkowski (@wmwitkowski) November 8, 2012
And if the whole fiscal cliff thing is drawing a bit of a blank with you, BusinessDay's Max Mason has everything you need to know about it here.
10.57am: So why are the banks and miners down? City Index chief analyst Peter Esho has some insights:
Three of the big four banks have now gone ex-dividend so the short term reason to be in them has somewhat gone out and resources are struggling, so that pulls some support out of the market, but we’re not seeing overly excessive losses.
10.48am: Back to the banks which have all, with the exception of the Commonmwealth, lost ground this morning. NAB and Westpac have been particulary hard-hit.
- CBA is 0.22% higher to $58.31
- ANZ is 0.23% lower to $24.315
- NAB is 4.46% lower to $23.76
- Westpac is 4.17% lower to $24.85
10.45am: So what's behind today's falls? “Investors have just gotten nervous,” says Shane Oliver, from AMP Capital Investors.
You’ve got residual concern about the US fiscal cliff and this delay in payments to Greece. The worries were there before. It sounds a bit irrational, but that’s the way markets often work. Once they start going down, the falling momentum triggers more selling.
10.42am: Cabcharge shares are down for the seventh consecutive day, adding to a 7.8 per cent yesterday following the New South Wales government’s decision not to renew a key bus contract.
Its shares were down as much as 2.34 per cent in early trade to $4.64. Last Wednesday they were trading at $5.92.
10.37am: The big banks and miners have dropped heavily this morning after losses in Wall Street, as investors remain cautious about US fiscal woes and a change of leadership in China. Among the big miners:
- BHP is 0.84% lower to $34.38
- Rio is 1.25% lower to $58.61
- Fortescue is 1.27% lower to $3.89
10.31am: Early risers on the ASX200 include:
- Integra Mining: +2.91%
- FKP Property: +2.38%
- Saracen: +2.04%
- St Barbara: +1.91%
- Whitehaven Coal: +1.76%
10.28am: Shares in Australia's Origin Energy fell as much as 8 per cent to a four-year low after the company warned its 2013 profit would fall by up to 10 per cent.
Origin blamed regulatory uncertainty for the cut in its guidance. Previously it had been expecting underlying 2013 profit in line with its 2012 results.
Shares traded as low as $10.15, the lowest since May 2008, and last traded down 7.7 per cent at $10.24.
10.25am: Here are the major sliders on the ASX200 in early trade:
- Emeco Holdings: -16.13%
- Mirabela Nickel: -4.55%
- Westpac: -4.36%
- NAB: -4.14%
- Macquarie Atlas: -3.01%
10.22am: All the sectors on the ASX200 are behind today, bar Health, which is up a 0.23%. Among the sliding sectors are:
- Finance: -1.57%
- Energy: -1.18%
- Utilities: -0.95%
- Materials: -0.82%
- Industrials: -0.66%
- Telecoms: -0.60%
- Consumer discretionaries: -0.58%
10.17am: Fresh from yesterday's court victory in Malaysia, Lynas is to conduct a capital raising.
The rare earths miner has requested a trading halt this morning, pending an announcement of the details of the capital raising venture.
The halt will stand until the start of trade on November 13.
Lynas yesterday received Malaysian court permission to begin operating a controversial processing plant.
Shares in the miner - which had been in a trading halt while the court deliberated - rose 8.5 cents to 80.5 cents in a brief flurry before the close of business yesterday.
10.11am: In early trade, the All Ordinaries index is 43.2 points lower, or 1 per cent, to 4459.0, while the benchmark S&P/ASX200 is 46.1 points lower, or 1 per cent, to 4437.7.
10.09am: As expected, the market has opened in negative terrritory.
10.02am: Dramatic developments overseas have left equities volatile, but the Aussie dollar is holding up, says Rochford Capital senior consultant Richard Breen.
Action in the US equities markets over the last couple of days has been pretty alarming. We’ve had news from European leaders that they are going to hold off on a Greek vote for another couple of weeks, and that doesn’t really help markets at all. Interestingly, we’re seeing equity markets getting slammed, but commodity prices and the Aussie are holding up reasonably well.
RBC Capital Markets senior economist Su-Lin Ong says the turmoil surrounding equities could be sustained into the short- to medium-term.
The question is, how much further can equities fall from here? We may see some new term corrections but I think we’ve long thought a lot of what’s underpinned equities is the liquidity that’s sloshing around in global markets. When you take that away, and you look at the fundamentals, they’re definitely not that supportive.
9.48am: We're a exepcting a series of economics data today. CPI data for October arrives at about 12.45pm. Later in the afternoon, industrial production and retail sales number for otober are expected. The data comes as China undertakes a once-in-a-decade change of leader at the top of the communist party.
9.45am: On the worries about Greece, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said he did not expect any quick deal on aid to the debt-mired nation with its international creditors.
"At the moment I do not see the decisions being taken" that are necessary for a definitive accord between the troika of international auditors examining Greece's finances and the Greek government, he said.
The German minister added that this was unlikely "in the coming weeks" despite sweeping austerity measures passed by the Greek parliament late on Wednesday.
9.40am: US stocks fell, extending losses since the re-election of President Barack Obama and sending the Dow Jones Industrial Average to the lowest level since July, amid concern about Greece’s financial aid payment.
Apple, the world’s most valuable company, retreated 3.6 per cent today, extending its plunge since its September high to 23 per cent.
‘‘It’s hard bargaining for Greece,’’ said Alan Gayle, a senior strategist at RidgeWorth Capital Management in Richmond, Virginia.
‘‘The risk of a recession is still out there. Apple might be a victim of its own success because it’s risen so much. There’s nothing wrong with the company. Yet with its huge market cap, as Apple goes, so goes the broader market.’’
9.38am: Another night of losses on offshore markets following the US elections, but this time there was a bit more pessimism about Europe mixed in. For a comprehensive look at this morning’s business news, check today’s need2know. Here are this morning’s key market links:
- SPI futures are 37 points lower at 4449
- The $A is lower at $US1.0416
- In late trade, the S&P500 fell 0.62% to 1385.91
- In Europe, the FTSE100 fell 0.27% to 5776.05
- China iron ore lost 20 US cents to $US121.40 a metric tonne
- Gold rose $8.08 to $US1731.63 an ounce
- WTI crude oil rose 45 cents to $US84.89 a barrel
- Reuters/Jefferies CRB index was flat at 291.49
9.35am: Good morning folks. Welcome to the Markets Live blog for Friday.
Contributors: Thomas Hunter, Richard Hughes Jens Meyer
This blog is not intended as investment advice
BusinessDay with agencies