Flat start for market predicted
AFTER last week’s battering, the local sharemarket looks set for a flat start despite US and European markets ending lower.
The dip in overseas stocks followed a solid US jobs report that raised expectations of a US interest rate rise soon and disappointing data out of the eurozone.
But CommSec chief economist Craig James believes there will be minimal impact on today’s local open.
“The actual futures expectation for our market suggests that we will only be down 2 points,” Mr James said. “It suggests a flat start.”
It comes after a big dip in banking stocks helped drive the overall ASX 200 down 2.4 per cent on Friday. The big banks fell heavily — ANZ worst at 7.5 per cent — but regional lenders fared better, including Bank of Queensland down 1.1 per cent at $13.56 and Suncorp 0.9 per cent at $14.28.
The oil price was weaker on Friday, along with base metal prices. However gold edged higher, finishing the week up by $US3.90 an ounce.
The Australian dollar rallied on expectations the Reserve Bank was less likely to cut the cash rate again any time soon, trading yesterday at US74.16¢.
Mr James expected it to hover between US73¢ to US74¢ this week.