US Stocks Rise as Apple Leads the Pack

US:

US stocks rallied overnight with Apple shares (AAPL) giving the index a significant boost by rallying 2.35%. This brings its market capitalisation back above $1tn US dollars although the price to earnings ratio is still a modest 18 times. Sales of the new iPhone 11 may be tracking better than expectations according to a J.P. Morgan analyst. The S&P 500 closed 0.50% higher while the Dow Jones climbed 0.36%.

AU:

The ASX 200 traded higher for most of yesterday but declined in the last hour of trading to close at -0.41% for the day. Despite the decline, the index still managed to finish 1.3% higher in September. Nufarm (NUF) shares surged after the company announced the agreed sale of its South American business to Sumitomo for $1.18bn. NUF shares finished 26.5% higher although they were up as much as 48% at one point in the day.

Commodities and Currencies: Gold prices were hammered overnight although there was no obvious catalyst for the sell-off. Gold is now down almost 6% from its six year high reached in early September. A stronger US dollar may be contributing to gold's weakness as it makes gold more expensive for non-US dollar buyers. Another theory is that the weakness relates to the beginning of Golden Week in China where the Shanghai gold exchange will now be closed until October 9. Gold prices have declined in the days leading up to Golden Week in every year since 2013. Gold is currently trading at US$1,473 per ounce, a nearly two month low.

The spot price of gold is currently down 1.3% at US$1,473 per ounce.

The AUD is currently down 0.15% at US$0.6762.

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.