Indications that China will look to improve current intellectual property rules provided confidence to markets of a trade deal being signed…
All major US markets closed higher overnight with the NASDAQ and S&P500 climbing to record highs of 8,632 and 3,133 respectively, as a result of Chinese trade officials indicating they would tighten intellectual property rules. The lack of intellectual property rights for foreign companies in China has been a key issue for President Trump in the ongoing trade disputes. The news provided markets a boost of confidence and resulted in trade sensitive stocks, such as Apple, semiconductor stocks and chip makers to climb significantly.
Additionally, news that Charles Schwab (SCHW) agreed to purchase TD Ameritrade (AMTD) and LVMH (MC) will purchase Tiffany & Co (TIF) provided further support to markets.
The ASX200 climbed 21 points higher to close at 6,731 and experienced broad gains with most sectors closing in the green. Financials continued to be weighed down by the fall out from the AUSTRAC report into Westpac Banking Corp (WBC) conduct and failure to have adequate measures in place to identify suspicious transactions. As a result of the reports, WBC Chief executive Brian Harzter and chairman Lindsay Maxsted both stood down.
While Financials fell, the review by AUSTRAC into Afterpay Touch Group’s (APT) financial conduct caused the stock to close 7.1% higher at $32.64, despite mixed results from the audit.
Major miners led markets higher as BHP Group (BHP) advanced 18%, Rio Tinto (RIO) climbed 2% and Fortescue Metals group (FMG) rose 1.8%.
Commodities and Currencies
A continued advance by Chinese steel futures drove iron ore prices up 3.2% to $US90.92 a tonne, which is a 5-week high.
Gold prices retraced 0.55% to $US1,454.99 an ounce as markets continue to maintain a risk-on stance and view current US-China trade negotiations with optimism.
This article was written by William O’Loughlin – Portfolio Manager, Rivkin Securities Pty Ltd. Enquiries can be made via [email protected] or by phoning +612 8302 3633.
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