Live updates: ASX to slip on opening despite Wall Street and global markets closing at record highs, French election causing uncertainty

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Good morning and welcome to another week on the ABC markets and finance blog.

Stephen Letts from ABC business team limbering up for a blow-by-blow coverage of the day’s events, where every post is hopefully a winner, but none should be construed as financial advice.

The ASX 200 looks like having a sluggish opening.

The ASX SPI futures are trading down 0.1% despite a solid end to the week on Wall Street, with the S&P 500 and Nasdaq both hitting new highs.

A slide in iron ore prices late in Friday’s session may have a dampening effect on the ASX 200’s opening given the outsized weighting the big miners BHP, Rio Tinto and Fortescue enjoy on the index.

The S&P 500 (+0.5%) and Nasdaq (+1%) were well supported by Microsoft and (+1.5%) and Meta (+5.9%), with both also closing at record highs.

The macro picture also encouraged buying, with weaker employment figures raising expectations of a rate cut as early as September.

US jobs and wages growth slowed marginally in June, while unemployment jumped to 4.1% – a two-and-half-year high.

With betting on a September rate cut now priced at a 73% likelihood on futures markets, benchmark 10-year treasury bonds slipped again, down around 20 basis points over the week.

The buying vibe was widespread with the global MSCI up 0.3% to a record close, despite both European and UK markets losing ground.

The surprise result in the French elections overnight, where the left alliance of Socialists and Greens look like being the largest block in parliament, may inject a degree of uncertainty into European markets, but apart from a slide in the Euro there hasn’t been much action so far.

If the New Popular Front does gain control, you can expect two of centrist President Emmanual Macron ‘s signature policies – increasing the retirement age and abolishing wealth taxes – to be scrapped “tout de suite”.

While (Dalian) iron ore futures fell on Friday (-3.3%), over the week the key contract price gained 3.2%.

Brent crude oil fell 1% on speculation of a ceasefire deal in Gaza being struck and Cyclone Beryl in the Gulf of Mexico may be downgraded to a nasty storm on landfall and not have much of an impact on US crude output.

Copper spiked on US markets to a three-month high as the failure of physical shipments to arrive there on time sent speculators off on a buying frenzy to cover some ill-advised short positions.

There’s a bit of an arbitrage between the Comex exchange and the London Metal Exchange at the moment that is making some dealers wealthier and some punters less wealthy — fun times.

Gold gained on US dollar weakness, while in the crypto world Bitcoin continued to slide experiencing its worst week in more than a year. Bitcoin was down 3.1% while Ethereum fell 5.1%.