The Australian dollar's bearish patch is not expected to be sustained, says Deutsche Bank currency strategist John Horner. While expectations are rising of a near-term wind-back of bond purchases by the Fed, Horner says tapering is still forecast to be some months away.
"We don't expect that the negative impact it's been having on the Aussie to be sustained," Horner says.
"We think the RBA has completed its rate cut cycle. We ... think the taper might not happen for some months yet, and we think China will surprise expectations on the high side.
"So we continue to think this bout in Aussie weakness will be unwound over the coming weeks into year end."
The Thanksgiving holiday in the US (falls on November 28) means less liquidity in the markets this week, says FXCM market analyst David de Ferranti, and that could lead to some relief for the Australian dollar, which has continued its recent downward slide today.
The dollar was buying 91.58 US cents.
At the same time, US economic releases on durable goods orders and consumer confidence this week - if they come in with healthy figures - could strengthen expectations of a near-term Fed taper and lift the greenback.
Meanwhile, RBA deputy governor Phil Lowe is set to speak in Sydney on productivity and infrastructure. Reserve Bank officials have used their recent speeches to talk down the local currency, although analysts said they did not expect Lowe to go any further that governor Stevens, who ramped up the jawboning by raising the prospect of FX intervention.
Next week will also see the Reserve Bank's board meet for the final time this year, with the statement possibly containing more negative sentiment about the recent strength of the local dollar.
Here's how the sectors performed:
- Consumer discretionary: +0.4%
- Financials: +0.3%
- Industrials: +0.7%
- Materials: +0.3%
- Property trusts: +0.5%
- Gold miners: -3.2%
The market has closed higher, but off the day's peak. The benchmark S&P/ASX200 added 16.9 points, or 0.3 per cent, to 5352.8. The broader All Ords gained 15.8 points, or 0.3 per cent, to 5346.1.
As of today, bank customers will no longer have to wait until the next business day for funds deposited from a different lender to be available to them.
The Reserve Bank said today that electronic money transfers - such as the payments of salaries, government benefit, and dividends - would now clear on the same day.
Previously, these types of payments "cleared" at 9am on the next business day.
Governor Glenn Stevens has previously said this aspect of the financial system looked "a bit dated", and many consumers expected transfers to occur more quickly.
The changes will affect money transfers worth some $53 billion every business day.
Direct debt payments of bills, alongside "pay anyone" bank transfers, will also be affected by the change.
Foxtel boss Richard Freudenstein has called on the federal government to allow it to compete for the rights to more major sporting events, saying current rules give an unfair advantage to free to air networks.
Mr Freudenstein said current anti-siphoning regulations, which ensure major sporting events are broadcast on free to air television, had hurt competition in the TV industry.
Events currently included on the anti-siphoning list include the Olympics, the Australian Open tennis, NRL and AFL games and cricket test matches played in Australia.
He said allowing Foxtel to compete for the rights to major sporting events would ensure more money for sporting codes.
‘‘If there was a simpler, fairer anti-siphoning system there would be more money available for sport and that would find its way to encouraging the next generation of players,’’ he said.
The Australian dollar is on track to record its biggest monthly loss against the US dollar since June, amid Reserve Bank jawboning, rising Chinese interest rates and heightened expectations of near-term Federal Reserve stimulus reductions.
The local dollar is trading near three-month lows against the US dollar and euro, and it’s the second-biggest loser against the two currencies this month.
It has shed 2.79 per cent against the US dollar and 2.54 per cent against the euro in November, and is only 3.09 per cent higher than its year’s low, just under 89 US cents in late August.
‘‘The Australian dollar is more clearly in a bear market,’’ RBS senior currency strategist Greg Gibbs said in a note today.
‘‘[It’s] reflecting the evidence that Australia’s resources investment cycle is in decline, a sense that the restructuring [and] reform process in China is likely to see a steady decline in its growth over the medium-term and its reforms increase risk of a significant disruption to growth.’’
BHP Billiton is a step closer to its long term goal in the Pilbara, after announcing $US301 million worth of new spending today.
The global miner will spend the money on two new ship-loaders at Port Hedland, which will help increase the export capacity of its iron ore division.
Ship-loaders are effectively large spouts that pour iron ore directly into the hull of giant ships, and the two new ones will replace a couple of 40 year old ship-loaders.
The new models can each move an extra 2,500 tonnes of ore per hour.
BHP shares are up 0.1 per cent at $37.94.
Downgrades by Macquarie and CIMB following food processor Goodman Fielder flagging a difficult outlook pushed the shares to their lowest level since January.
In afternoon trading, the shares were down 7.8 per cent at 65 cents, near the day’s low of 63 cents, the lowest since January.
On Friday, the company warned that earnings would be weighted ‘‘significantly’’ to the second half of fiscal 2014, following a squeeze on margins in the New Zealand dairy business, which it is unlikely to recover.
This follows problems with its Fijian poultry business which emerged late in the 2013 financial year.
Rail operator Aurizon has scaled back a proposed $6 billion rail development in Queensland’s Galilee basin with India’s GVK Hancock, now planning to build only 300 kilometres of new track instead of the 500 kilometres initially proposed to cut costs.
Aurizon said on Monday it had “made progress” on its proposal, announced in March, for the joint development of a rail line and new coal terminal at Abbot Point with GVK, and had agreed the commercial terms for a transaction, including equity and debt funding.
But it said only 300 kilometres of the proposed rail corridor from the Galilee basin to Abbot Point would be built before connecting into existing Aurizon rail infrastructure.
Aurizon said this would allow for “a phased development” at the Abbot Point T3 terminal, reducing the initial cost of infrastructure.
Global miner BHP Billiton has cancelled the opening of its Jimblebar iron ore mine due to the closure of Newman airport in the north of Western Australia.
BHP chief executive Andrew MacKenzie, WA Premier Colin Barnett, dignitaries and media were scheduled to travel to the Pilbara mine opening on Monday.
But six Newman-bound Qantas and Virgin Australia flights were cancelled after an emulsion treatment applied to the tarmac failed to dry and became sticky in the heat.
A Newman Airport spokesman said the curing process had not occurred as quickly as planned and flights were cancelled to prevent a build-up of emulsion on plane tyres and fuselages.
‘‘It’s got no effect on the friction - the aircraft can brake, but it’s just a messy business,’’ the spokesman said.
A BHP spokeswoman said the company had not decided if it would reschedule an official opening event.
‘‘Though regrettable, the cancellation does not detract from the significant achievement of the opening of our newest mine, particularly the delivery of first ore six months ahead of the original schedule,’’ the spokeswoman said.
She said BHP Billiton was using charter services and landing aircraft at alternative locations to accommodate mine workers who were due to travel to site.
The federal opposition has signalled it won’t back proposed changes to the GST.
Shadow minister Anthony Albanese has avoided directly responding to questions about lowering the $1,000 threshold on imports, but says Labor won’t back an ‘‘extension’’ of the tax.
The states and territories are due to argue the case for a lower GST threshold on foreign imports in Canberra on Wednesday, at the first meeting of the Standing Council on Federal Financial Relations since the change of government.
Mr Albanese instead took aim at the government’s attempt to repeal the mining tax introduced under Labor prime ministers Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard.
‘‘The only thing they introduced (to parliament) was something to give the big miners a tax break which they don’t need,’’ Mr Albanese told reporters near Hobart.
Struggling states like Tasmania were in danger of missing out on GST revenue if the government reformed the tax, he said.
Proxy adviser ISS is backing the removal of Billabong chairman Ian Pollard and two non-executive directors from the surf and skate wear retailer’s board, setting the stage for a shareholder showdown at next month’s annual meeting
In a report released today, ISS said the three independent directors – Dr Pollard, Sally Pitkin and Howard Mowlem – had presided over a period of “unabated shareholder value destruction”, missed strategic opportunities and approved a “coercive” financing deal that was ultimately derailed.
The removal of the three incumbent directors has been proposed by dissident shareholder Coastal Capital, which emerged with a 5 per cent stake in May.
ISS is backing the appointment of two dissident shareholders – Coastal Capital’s Todd Plutsky and Vlad Artamonov – saying they are qualified candidates who are likely to ring a fresh perspective and financial oversight to the board.
ISS was scathing of the performance of Billabong under the current board, saying Dr Pitkin’s tenure had coincided with a 79 per cent decline in the company’s market capitalisation and Dr Pollard and Mr Mowlem had presided over a 60 per cent drop in market value.
Turmoil: Billabong. Photo: Glen Hunt
Here's a quick glance across the region:
- Nikkei: +1.3%
- Hang Seng: +0.2%
- Shanghai: flat
- Taiwan: +1%
- South Korea: +0.8%
- Singapore: +0.2%
- New Zealand: +0.2%
So why has the Australian dollar been weakening this month?
There's a range of factors apart from the RBA's jawboning, says RBS senior currency strategist Greg Gibbs.
Catalysts for the recent slide includes:
- Bernanke's speech on longer US interest rates for longer, and the FOMC minutes. Read by Asian markets as a sign that tapering could happen in coming months
- Steady and relatively rapid rise in Chinese interest rates across the curve from mid-October.
- Weaker-than-expected HSBC China flash PMI for November.
"The Australian dollar is more clearly in a bear market, reflecting the evidence that Australian's resources investment cycle is in decline, a sense that the restructuring/reform process in China is likely to see a steady decline in its growth over the medium term and its reforms increase risk of a significant disruption to growth," Gibbs says in a note.
But he says it is possible the dollar could strengthen slightly this week given that it has experienced significant under-performance on medium-term concerns and through RBA jawboning.
The Commonwealth Bank has retained its spot as the big bank with the highest customer satisfaction ratings in the country, Roy Morgan said today.
Of CBA's customers, 81.3 per cent were satisfied with their bank, compared with 79.4 per cent at Westpac, 78.2 per cent and NAB and 77.5 per cent at ANZ.
The report points out how much things have changed for NAB - which a year ago was on top of the table with a rating of 80.4 per cent
The main reason for this appears to be a sharp increase in satisfaction ratings among the mortgage customers of Westpac, ANZ and CBA.
NAB mortgage customers have not been as positive towards their bank. This may because NAB this year ended its pledge to offer the lowest standard variable mortgage of the big four.
Concerns about the near term earnings outlook saw shares in one-time market darling ALS marked down due to its lack of guidance for earnings into the New Year.
Late this morning, ALS released September half earnings of $97 million, which was down 47 per cent but in line with its earlier guidance of $90-110 million for the half.
The net profit for the December quarter is expected at $47 million, broadly in line with the quarterly profit in the June and September quarters, but the company would not give any further guidance into the New Year.
As a result, in afternoon trading, the shares were off 33 cents at $8.79.
Here's some stats on how the Australian dollar has fared against the US dollar and the euro over the past month and for this year.
- The Australian dollar is the second-biggest loser against the US dollar and the euro, after the Japanese yen, this month. It's shed 2.79 per cent against the US dollar and 2.54 per cent against the euro
- The local currency is the third-biggest loser against the US dollar and the euro in the year-to-date. It's lost 9.41 per cent against the US dollar, behind the South African rand and Japanese yen, and slipped 11.80 per cent against the euro.
- The Reserve Bank's trade-weighted index - which measures the dollar against a broad basket of currencies - is at 70.5.
- The Australian dollar is only 3.09 per cent higher than the year's low of just under 89 US cents in late August
- The local dollar fell nearly 2 per cent last week, its biggest weekly decline last week since early August (-3.82 per cent)
- The local currency is on track to record its biggest monthly decline since June, when it lost 4.52 per cent of its value
Oil and gas player AWE Limited has sold a 50 per cent stake in the Northwest Natuna PSC joint venture in Indonesia to operator Santos for about $205.50 million.
The Indonesian Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources and the regulator, SKK Migas, have approved the sale. AWE acquired 100 per cent of the Northwest Natuna PSC in February 2012 for $42.63 million plus $109.31 million in debt.
‘‘The subsequent sale of a 50 per cent interest is expected to generate an estimated unaudited after tax profit of approximately $60 million,’’ AWE said in a statement.
It’s shares are up one cent to $1.20.
A majority of Australians want the federal government to block an American food giant from buying GrainCorp, according to a poll.
Some 51.2 per cent of respondents to a GPS-Melbourne Institute poll say Treasurer Joe Hockey should stop Archer Daniels Midland’s (ADM) from acquiring all of Australia’s biggest grains handler.
Just 18.9 per cent of those surveyed were in favour of allowing the takeover, with 30 per cent undecided.
The poll of 1,000 people comes as the Nationals in the coalition government urge Mr Hockey to oppose the ADM takeover when he makes a decision, due on December 17.
Brent crude oil has taken a hit today after the breakthrough nuclear deal between Iran and the West.
Tough sanctions against Iran in the past two years have slashed exports from the OPEC member by more than half and cost Tehran billions of dollars in revenue losses a month, keeping Brent above $US100 a barrel despite weak global demand.
Brent crude is down 2.3 per cent to $US108.49 per barrel.
But further declines in oil prices are unlikely until more details emerge on the agreement, with major factors influencing demand such as worries over when the United States will curb its monetary stimulus overshadowing the deal.
"Prices are reacting to the historic deal because it takes some of the risk premium out," said Ben le Brun, a market analyst at OptionsXpress.
"But this news is hot off the press, and so there is some knee-jerk reaction. Oil may not fall much from here and we may see some paring back of losses."
Local oil players don't seem to be taking much note of the deal:
Woodside: +1 per cent
Oil Search: +1%
Aurora Oil and Gas: -0.2%
So when could the RBA intervene in the FX markets? When it's sure that it'll be successful, says Westpac senior currency strategist Sean Callow.
The RBNZ has a very specific checklist of boxes that need to be ticked in order for them to intervene. And one of them is the prospect of success.
"So central banks are very loathe to embarrass themselves by getting into the market ... and then they are embarrassed [if they don't succeed].
"Global markets are so heavily traded. The bulk of it is offshore and it's really difficult for any one entity, even one as powerful as the RBA, to influence the Aussie's value on a substantial basis."
Callow says the prospects of failure - especially for a central bank like the RBA that is highly regarded around the world for its management - is an argument for caution.
"The [Bank of Japan's] experience is not one that the rest of the world envies, where they intervened many times and frequently, it was just embarrassing what happened.
"They were just a blip on a chart when you look at them."
We've explored the RBA's recent intervention in currency markets. But how effective have the interventions been?
Barclays chief economist Kieran Davies says most research on this topic suggests that intervention "has at best a very short-term effect on the exchange rate".
The RBA itself has analysed this issue and said that any impact was very hard to pin down and that it could be short-lived and sometimes counter-intuitive, Davies notes:
- For example, the RBA found that selling $1 billion was actually associated with a 0.7 per cent appreciation of the exchange rate the next day.
- However, intervening over more than one day had the desired effect, with a $1 billion sale lowering the exchange rate by 0.5 per cent.
Given the size of FX markets nowadays, analysts say any intervention could be too small to effect any meaningful change.
In February, New Zealand's Finance Minister Bill English said he would not risk using the country's limited funds to intervene to lower the strong dollar.
''We just don't want to take that kind of risks. We are a small country,'' English added. ''We'll be out in the war zone with a peashooter.''
Some more on Saputo's latest sweetener in the WCB takeover battle. RBS Morgans analyst Belinda Moore describes the amended offer has a ‘‘nice Christmas windfall’’ designed to secure a majority stake:
- It’s a nice simple deal now. There is no messiness around if you’ll get a dividend or franking credits and what that will mean.
- Effectively, if they accept today they’ll get $9 and the minute Saputo gets over 50 per cent, within five days they get paid an extra 20 cents a share in the post.
The stream of new listings is continuing with data analytics business Veda due to debut on the ASX on December 5.
With an offer price of $1.25 per share, Morningstar recommends subscribing to the share offer, placing fair value at $1.70 per share.
“Veda has a near monopoly in the consumer risk and identity segment and holds a majority market share of the commercial segment,” says a Morningstar report.
An entry of a new competitor in consumer credit reporting is unlikely to have a large impact on earnings, says Morningstar, which expects revenue growth at an average of 9 per cent over the next three years.
Competition, changes in regulation, soft economic conditions and reputational damage remain the key risks, according to Morningstar.
Challenging markets have pushed the earnings of laboratory analysis group ALS down sharply, with the prospect of flat earnings through the balance of the financial year.
In the September half, the net profit fell to $97.7 million, down 28 per cent, but within the guidance of a net profit of between $90-110 million for the half. Revenue fell 8.5 per cent to $745 million, and the interim dividend was cut 2 cents to 19 cents a share.
Markets for geochemical and coal services were ‘‘challenging’’ the company said, against the backdrop of weak commodity prices and cost cutting by clients.
In the December quarter, the net profit is expected to be flat at $47 million, but with the fourth quarter ‘‘difficult to forecast’’.
Shares are down 1.2 per cent.
Real estate trust Commonwealth Property Office Fund (CPA) has terminated a deal with Dexus Property Group and a Canadian pension fund, after receiving a higher takeover offer from property investor The GPT Group.
The $2.99 billion takeover bid from GPT, whose biggest shareholder is Singaporean sovereign wealth fund GIC Private Limited, has gate-crashed the deal with Dexus and Canada Pension Plan Investment, as foreign investors bet on the upward trend in Australia's office property sector.
Commonwealth Managed Investments Limited (CMIL), a wholly owned subsidiary of Commonwealth Bank that manages CPA on behalf of unit holders, said it had scrapped the $2.8 billion deal after considering the GPA offer.
CMIL said Dexus and the Canadian fund could undertake further due diligence on a non-exclusive basis until December 9, and added that it would consider "any proposal that maximises unitholder value".
Shares in GPT are up 2.9 per cent, Dexus has added 1.2 per cent to $1.057 while CPA has shed 0.2 per cent to $1.262.
Canadian dairy dynamo Saputo has thrown Warrnambool Cheese and Butter shareholders another $10 million in its bid to control the company.
Saputo this morning increased its offer for Australia’s oldest-listed dairy processor to $9.20, or about $515 million. But the extra cash will only be paid if the company gains more than 50 per cent of WCB shares.
Saputo, which has maintained an unconditional offer of $9, is facing a tough task to secure a majority stake in WCB, with rival bidders Bega and Murray Goulbourn owning about 35 per cent WCB and Japanese food conglomerate Kirin another 10 per cent.
The 20-cent sweetener has replaced a 46-cent dividend that WCB was going to pay shareholders if Saputo gained 50.1 per cent of the company.
WCB's board is recommending the "improved and simplified" offer.
The global deal to lift sanctions against Iran could unleash a flood of oil onto world markets by next year just as crude output picks up in Libya, Iraq, and North America, triggering a slide in prices and a major shake-up of the energy landscape.
The accord should unlock 800,000 barrels a day (b/d) of global supply by next year in a market of 89 million, rising over time as foreign firms return and the country’s ruined oil industry comes back to life. Export curbs will stay in place for another six months but a planned escalation of curbs will not occur.
Citigroup said the Geneva deal should cut global oil prices by $US13 over time, enough to depress Brent crude below $US100 and US crude below $US85.
The bank said falling energy prices could mark the death of the commodity supercycle, already struggling as China shifts to a new phase of “smart urbanisation”.
Alastair Newton from Nomura said the “geopolitical risk” premium in the oil price should fall but there will be no immediate softening of the oil embargo, adding that talks could still break down over Iran’s heavy water reactor at Arak.
As mentioned earlier (10.23am), oil prices have already reacted, with Brent down 2 per cent and US crude losing 0.7 per cent.
RBA governor Glenn Stevens has raised the prospects of intervening in foreign exchange markets to bring down the Australian dollar.
So how many times has the RBA intervened in recent years? The most recent intervention, at least one that the RBA has officially acknowledged, was in 2008 during the financial crisis, says Barclays chief economist Kieran Davies.
In 2008, the central bank bought $3.7 billion during the global financial crisis. In 2007, it also bought $300 million.
"This intervention was an attempt to calm disorderly markets, where the bank was trying to ensure the depreciation of the exchange rate at the time was orderly, without "excessive price gapping'," Davies says.
Unofficially, the RBA is also believed to have intervened in FX markets in 2012, when it accepted an estimated $1 billion deposit from another central bank.
Davies adds that as Stevens has been at pains to stress the Reserve Bank has not undertaken large-scale intervention, the central bank may have made small-scale ones.
"In this respect, the RBA's monthly data on its FX transactions suggest the bank could have intervened by selling $300 million in October. ... The RBA has said that reserve rebuilding transactions are 'designed' to avoid influencing the market, but presumably in current circumstances the bank would be pleased if such transactions helped push the exchange rate lower and gave the market the impression it was intervening."
Bitcoin: a viable currency or just a fad? Jeff Sommer from The New York Times takes a look.
It doesn't fit into a neat product category. Often called a virtual currency, it's not legal tender anywhere on the planet. It's not an income-generating asset class suitable for most investors. Its value fluctuates wildly, from one minute to the next. And while it can be a cheap way of transferring money, there are too many glitches in its emerging network for bitcoin to be reliable.
Bitcoin: The future of currency? Photo: Reuters
Here's how the sectors have opened:
- Consumer staples: +1%
- Consumer discretionary: +0.9%
- Energy: +0.6%
- Financials: +0.7%
- Health: +1%
- Materials: +0.4%
It's the last week of the annual meeting season and it's going to be a busy one. The Australian Shareholders' Association (ASA) has compiled a complete list of AGMs and there's 600 this week, more than 100 on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday - and 200 on Friday, with most of them held in Perth.
"It is ridiculous that more than 200 ASX listed companies hold their AGMs on the last day of the season," said the ASA's Stephen Mayne.
"ASA will be directly contacting these last day laggards in 2014 and specifically requesting that they be better organised next year and get themselves out of the last day club."
Mr Mayne dubbed the companies as being part of the "last day laggards club".
"If you've got something to hide, having an AGM on Friday afternoon in Perth on the last day of the season is the best way to avoid attention."
Here's the ASA's list of AGMs
Oil prices have tumbled on the back of the Iran nuclear deal struck overnight.
Brent Crude is trading down 1.9 per cent at $US108.92 a barrel, while WTI crude is 1.1 per cent lower at $US93.74.
Under the six-month long interim deal, Iran has agreed to stop building nuclear facilities and refining uranium to weapons-grade level, and to dilute the stockpile it has already built up. It will also allow international inspections of its nuclear facilities, but it will keep most of its infrastructure in place.
The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index has opened up 32.9 points, or 0.62 per cent, at 5,368.8, while the broader All Ordinaries index is up 32.9 points, or also 0.62 per cent, at 5,363.2.
Tim Radford from Rivkin says the 'B'-word will be on the minds of investors this week.
The real question on the minds of investors is how much higher can stocks go? The word ‘bubble’ continues to be thrown around, leading to investors avoiding buying at current levels due to fear of buying at the top. Yes, in the short-term US stocks are nearing highly overbought levels and we should expect a pullback. But guessing when this pullback will occur is very difficult given how strong upside momentum is. On this basis, it’s quiet pointless trying to pick the top and wait for a pullback to re-enter this market. All that really matters is that the trend remains up and buying momentum is strong, leaving plenty of good individual stock picking opportunities available for investors.
Moves to slap GST on overseas online shopping purchases worth less than $1000 will be on the agenda when Federal Treasurer Joe Hockey meets his state and territory counterparts this week.
The treasurers will meet in Canberra on Wednesday from 8.30am for the Standing Council on Federal Financial Relations, the first since the change of government.
A spokeswoman for Mr Hockey said the meeting will focus on economic growth and ways to increase productivity.
The $1000 threshold at which the GST is collected on goods and services purchased from abroad will be on the agenda.
The use of jawboning by central banks has come into focus after a month of intense efforts by the Reserve Bank to talk down the dollar culminated in governor Glenn Stevens last week flagging a possible intervention in foreign exchange markets.
The currency continued its slide last week, closing at US91.83 cents compared with its October high of US97.08 cents.
The fall made the dollar the second-biggest loser, after the yen, against its US counterpart this month. The currency had been gaining after sinking to a year's low of just under US90¢ in late August.
Strategists said while the Reserve Bank's jawboning was not the only factor contributing to the dollar's selloff, it played an important role in its decline.
''Linking to the outlook for mining investment has been important,'' said RBS senior currency strategist Greg Gibbs.
This morning, the dollar is trading at 91.68 cents.
Local shares are expected to open higher, extending Friday's rally after both the Dow industrials and the S&P 500 reached fresh record highs ahead of the weekend.
- SPI futures up 23 points.
- AUD at 91.78 US cents; it was also at 92.96 yen, 67.74 euro cents and 56.54 British pence.
- On Wall Street, the Dow gained 0.3%, the S&P was up 0.5% to a new record close and the Nasdaq rose 0.6%.
- In Europe, London’s FTSE lost 0.1%, Frankfurt’s DAX gained 0.3%, while EuroStoxx rose 0.4% and the CAC in Paris jumped 0.6%.
- Brent oil rose 0.9% to $USUS111.05.
- Spot gold flat at $USUS1243.40 an ounce.
- Iron ore up 0.1% to $US136.50 per tonne.