need2know: Earnings, RBA awaited

Local stocks are poised to open higher ahead of a wave of earnings from BHP Billiton, Coca-Cola Amatil and Seven West Media.

What you need2know:

• SPI futures up 28 points to 5373 at the close of European trading

• AUD at 90.30 US cents at 7.20am AEST

• On Wall St closed for the Presidents’ Day holiday

• In Europe, Euro Stoxx 50 unchanged, FTSE100 +1.09%, CAC -0.11%, DAX -0.06%

• Spot gold up $US9.81 to $US1328.60 an ounce

• Brent oil rises 10 US cents to $US109.18 per barrel

• Iron ore up $1.20, or 0.97%, to $US124.40

What’s on today

Australia: imports of goods, Reserve Bank board minutes.

Stocks to watch

Earnings from: BHP Billiton, Asciano, Amcor, Arrium, Coca-Cola Amatil, CFS Retail Property Trust, Challenger Financial, GWA Group, Macmahon Holdings, Monadelphous, Mermaid Marine, Orora, Pacific Brands, SAI Global, Sonic Healthcare, Seven West Media.

The ink is yet to dry on Healthscope mandates, but already the hungry pack of equity capital markets bankers have moved on to their next health sector target, Medibank Private, according to The Australian Financial Review’s Street Talk column.

RBC Capital Markets has an “outperform” on Transurban Group and a 12-month price target of $7.50 a share after first-half results of the 2013-14 financial year solidified its positive view on the stock.


The euro touched a three-week high of $US1.37245 and was last up 0.1 per cent at $US1.3700.

Against the yen the dollar fell to its lowest since February 6 but later recovered to trade up 0.1 per cent at 101.89 yen after weaker-than-expected Japanese gross domestic product data.


Copper rose for a second session, touching the strongest level in 11 days. LME copper, untraded at the close, was last bid at $US7170 a tonne after hitting $US7206.50, its highest since February 6. It closed at $US7150 on Friday.

Nickel closed at $US14,385 a tonne from $US14,250 at the close on Friday, extending gains after a ban Indonesia imposed in January on unprocessed mineral exports. Nickel has risen more than 3 per cent so far this year and is the top performer, along with tin, on the LME.

Spot gold touched its highest since October 31 at $US1329.55 an ounce earlier in the session and was trading up 0.7 per cent at $US1327.91 by 1700 GMT. US gold futures rose for a ninth session running, up 0.7 per cent to $US1328.30 an ounce.

United States

US markets are closed for the Presidents’ Day holiday.


European stock markets have closed mixed, with London’s benchmark FTSE 100 index ending 1.09 per cent higher at 6736 points. Frankfurt’s DAX 30 dipped 0.06 per cent to 9656.76 points and the CAC 40 in Paris lost 0.11 per cent to 4335.17 points.

Data from EPFR Global showed European equity funds have enjoyed net inflows of $US17 billion since the beginning of 2014, marking a record start to the year and in sharp contrast to massive outflows from emerging market funds. EPFR said that within Europe, equity funds focused on Italy and Spain have been leading the way in terms of inflows. Both countries have recently seen their bond yields retreat sharply.

Britain’s fraud agency has started criminal proceedings against three former bankers at Britain’s Barclays for the alleged manipulation of Libor interest rates. The Serious Fraud Office said it has charged Peter Charles Johnson, Jonathan James Mathew and Stylianos Contogoulas with conspiracy to defraud between June 2005 and August 2007.

What happened yesterday

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index added 26.6 points, or 0.5 per cent, on Monday to 5382.9, with the broader All Ordinaries Index also lifting 0.5 per cent.

Mining stocks led the gains after the release over the weekend of stronger than expected Chinese credit data provided support for global commodity prices.