ASX extends gains into August ahead of RBA tomorrow

Tristan K'Nell

The Australian Share market looking to extend its positive momentum into the start of August shrugging off a flat lead from Wall Street with a big bounce in commodity based stocks the catalyst behind moves today. Market volume into the final 30 minutes was only fair at $2.358 billion. On Friday we did see a much healthier turnover of over 5 billion, which while isn’t setting the world on fire was a huge improvement on the lack of activity we did see in July and the reason why it’s hard to get excited even with the market up over 6% in July. I did expect some action in financials today with the potential to chase yield ahead of the RBA tomorrow, but that was not the case in the flat day for the bank. Tomorrow I am expected the RBA to be proactive and cut rates. I do believe last week’s CPI numbers was enough to push the RBA to act and given the mounting concerns on the economy I see them acting tomorrow.

The market seeing some early releases from China, with official Chinese PMI reading showing activity in the manufacturing sector coming in at 49.9 for July, a drop from the previous month’s reading of 50 and expectations also of 50. The reading only a slight miss, which did see the Shanghai Composite sold off into the afternoon, with the ASX failing to retain above 5600 points with some selling into the afternoon but this could easily be some profit taking with the market running much harder than expected in the morning session.

A big bounce in the energy sector, you do suspect a big round of short covering after a not too pretty July period. Caltex (+2.74%), Origin (+3.73%), Oil Search (+2.82%), Santos (+2.05%) and Woodside (+1.96%) all back in the black, expect the crude volatility to continue to make it a bumpy ride.

Resource stocks also making gains despite a fall in Iron Ore & also BHP trading lower on overseas exchanges did little to deflect the positive sentiment in the sector with BHP (+0.97%), Fortescue (+1.35%) and Rio Tinto (+0.54%) all making good gains. It is an area we have liked since late last year and in the short term we still do see some promise due to Chinese stimulus and production cuts likely. One area to keep an eye on though is watching closely is the apparent rift developing in the upper echelons of the Communist Party in China, definitely take note.

The banks are mixed picture with ANZ (-0.66%) in the red, while CBA (+0.72%) and NAB (+0.72%) were edging out some gains. It will be interesting to see CBA’s full year results on Wednesday 10 August. While the others provide updates on 9 August (ANZ) & 15 August (NAB).


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