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4 June Markets at a glance

ASX trades flat ahead of key GDP figures, Asian equity markets are weaker amid US economic uncertainty, oil prices remain under pressure over demand concerns while gold stocks are buoyed by higher prices.

Around the grounds:

  •  ASX flat, miners offset gains in financials & healthcare
  • AUD eases on soft data
  • Hong Kong’s Hang Seng flat
  • India’s Nifty 50 to open higher as Prime Minister Narendra Modi is tipped to win a third consecutive term in office

The S&P/ASX200 is treading water in Tuesday’s trade as losses in the miners more than offset gains in banking and healthcare stocks, as investors remain on the sidelines ahead of key domestic growth data for the second quarter.

Breaking it down, the mining index has snapped a two-day winning streak, as the price of iron ore slips to its lowest level in more than six weeks amid signs of weakening steel demand in China.

Energy is under pressure with oil holding near four-month lows after OPEC+ agreed to start unwinding some production cuts from October. Gold is slightly higher.  

Bucking the broader trend, shares in Australian listed healthcare stocks are higher, with Ramsay Health Care (RHC) the outperformer, on track for its best day of gains since February. Gold is also trading higher after soft U.S. manufacturing data reaffirmed market expectations the U.S. Federal Reserve (FOMC) will cut interest rates later this year.  

In forex, the Australian dollar has slipped in the afternoon session after data showed current accounts unexpectedly swung into deficit in the March quarter as imports jumped and prices for commodity exports fell. The slip will take a chuck out of GDP figures which are released tomorrow.

Around the region, Asian equity markets are marginally weaker as global investors question the strength of the U.S. economy after data on manufacturing activity state side weakened further in May, marking a second month of declines.  

In Europe, all eyes remain on the European Central Bank (ECB) interest rate decision on Thursday, where markets widely expect a cut to the benchmark rate by 25 basis points to 3.75%.

India’s Nifty 50 is on the radar as counting begins in the country’s election. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to win a record breaking third consecutive term in office. Market participants expect the outcome to be positive for the country’s financial markets on the hope India will undergo further economic reform.

Finally across the ditch, New Zealand listed shares of Synlait Milk (SML) have recovered some ground after touching record lows after the dairy milk producer said it expects annual earnings to be in the lower end of its forecast range. This as the company flags a significant majority of its farmer suppliers have submitted cessation notices.

 

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