Business

need2know: ASX set for more gains

A big Friday rally on Wall Street and in Europe set to drive the local sharemarket higher today as the full benefit of Japan's surprise move to negative interest rates washes through the ASX.

What you need2know

SPI futures up 37pts or 0.7pc to 5002

AUD at 70.84 US cents, 85.90 Japanese yen, 65.44 Euro cents and 49.74 British pence 

On Wall St, Dow +2.5%, S&P 500 +2.5%, Nasdaq +2.4%

In Europe, Stoxx 50 2.2%, FTSE -2.6%, CAC -1.3%, DAX 2.2%

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In London, BHP -0.5%, Rio -+0.8%

Spot gold +0.3% to $US1118.17

Brent crude +3.4% to $US35.99

Iron ore last traded down 0.5% at $US41.72 a tonne.

What's on today

The Australian Industry Group performance of manufacturing (PMI) index for January, RP Data Core Logic Home Value Index for January, TD Securities-Melbourne Institute inflation gauge for January, Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) index of commodity prices for January, ACCC takes Woolworths to court: The ACCC is taking Woolworths to court after the supermarket allegedly demanded more than $60 million from its suppliers.

Currencies

Hedge funds that thought a stronger yen was their ticket to big gains underestimated just how quickly the Bank of Japan would prove them wrong.

Speculators boosted wagers on yen strength to the highest since 2012 this week, just days before the central bank's monetary policy decision sent the currency tumbling Friday by the most in a year. Japan's currency slid against all of its 16 major peers, and erased this year's gains versus the dollar.

Commodities

Iraq's oil minister said on Saturday his country was ready to accept a decision by OPEC and non-OPEC members to cut crude production and was preparing to revive its national oil company, moves aimed at boosting profits amid dropping prices.

Cash-trapped Venezuela has called for a meeting in February to discuss steps to prop up global oil prices, which have plunged to 12-year lows around $30 a barrel.

"Iraq will agree and cooperate if producers really want to cooperate to cut," Adel Abdul Mahdi told reporters in Baghdad.

United States

US stocks closed the month on more stable footing after one of the most turbulent yearly starts in the market's history.

The upswing Friday followed a surprise monetary stimulus measure from the Bank of Japan. All three major indexes rose about 2.5 per cent, marking the largest one-day gain in four months. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 396.66 points, or 2.5 per cent, for the day, but still ended the month down nearly 8 per cent. The Standard & Poor's 500-stock index and the tech-heavy Nasdaq also posted significant losses for the month.

Europe

European stocks rallied, trimming their worst January drop since 2008, after the Bank of Japan's added stimulus stoked optimism of policy support for global growth.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index rose 2.2 per cent at the close, after the BOJ announced a negative interest rate. In the US, a report showed slower economic growth last quarter, after Federal Reserve officials said this week they'll watch how global financial developments affect the American outlook.

What happened Friday

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index finished up 29.3 points, or 0.59 per cent, at 5,005 points while the All Ordinaries index ended up 28.5 points, or 0.57 per cent, at 5,056.6.

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