WHAT HAPPENED OVERNIGHT IN THE US:
· S&P +0.2%, closed gap again on record to just 5pts, but it was no plain sail.
· Caterpillar -0.1%, reported decent N America, but global mining “remained weak”, and strong USD had “unfavourable impact”.
· Procter&Gamble -1.8% and Pepsi -1.6% also complained about currency. Altria +0.4% the latest cigarette co to beat – but Pulte -8% another disappointing homebuilder.
· Techs the best of it; NASDAQ finally surpassed 2002 dotcom boom highs – and it got even better after-hrs. Amazon +7% shrugged off PE 1000x on decent cloud; Microsoft +3% & Google +3% both also beat.
WHAT’S UP THIS MORNING IN THE EAST:
· China -1.8% - finally a breather on IPO rush-to-cash-in after recent market run – but it hasn’t caused too much upset to rest of region.
· Hong Kong -0.6% around day’s lows; ditto Tencent -0.4%, dampened by sector-lagging performances overnight from Facebook & Alibaba.
· But Australia +1.5% on track for weekly gain thanks to miners. BHP +3.1% & Rio +2.5% both squeezing a bit more – indicating London +0.25%.
SOUTH AFRICAN NEWS:
· Eurozone recovery slowed in April according to yesterday’s prelim PMI data, with drag in particular from France where manufacturing fell further into contraction (48.4 from 48.8) and composite dipped back towards stagnation (50.2). The data overall is probably less consequential than in the past, given that the ECB has embarked on QE and signalled its intent to stay the course. But the data also probably reflects some nerves about a Greek default. Eurozone Finance Ministers meet later today in Riga to discuss the issue – and markets will be braced for some sort of weekend announcement.
TODAYS KEY DATA POINTS:
· 7am+: Europe earnings (AstraZen, ASML, Electrolux, etc)
· 10am: Germany April Business IFO
· 2.30pm: US March Durables