Manufacturers enjoying period of low Aussie dollar

Australia: 

In the ACCI-Westpac Survey of Industrial Trends, the composite index rose 2.2 points to 58.4 in the June quarter, and points to an improving trend in the manufacturing sector. 

A lower Australian dollar, and the upswing in the housing market is providing a benefit to manufacturing. 

The expectations index was also higher, up 1 point to 57.0 in the June quarter, and suggests that businesses seem to be more upbeat.

Share Markets:

US share markets shrugged off concerns over Greek debt and focussed on the expected gentle rate rise trajectory hinted at by the Fed.

The Dow and the S&P500 rose 1.0% while the Nasdaq posted a 1.3% gain. European markets were generally more subdued with the FTSE100 rising 0.4% and the French market up 0.3%.

Investors in the German Dax were more upbeat, lifting that market by 1.1%. A lower euro in the face of the Greek troubles would assist German exporters.

Interest Rates: 

Long bond yields were little changed in the US and Germany.

The yield on 10 year US government bonds rose 2 basis points to 2.33% while their German equivalents were unchanged at 0.81%. 

In Australia, 10 year government bond yields fell 14 basis points to 2.85%. Three year yields also slipped back falling 10 basis points to 1.88%.

Foreign Exchange:

The US dollar weakened overnight as expectations of higher interest rates were dampened.

US interest rates are still expected to rise but the Fed is suggesting the rise will by very gradual.  The lower USD saw the AUD push up into the US78 cent range.

The AUD was generally firmer against all the majors overnight.

Commodities:

A weaker US dollar saw the price of oil rise above $US60 per barrel and the price of gold move back above $US1200 per ounce.

Copper prices were marginally higher but the price of copper is well down on the prices seen in early May. 

The modest rise came after signals that the decline in Chinese house prices may be coming to an end.

China:

In May, Chinese home prices rose 0.2%, the first positive monthly growth in over a year. Stabilising property prices suggests that supportive policy measures, including lower interest rates, appear to be having an impact.

However, new home prices remained lower than a year ago, falling 5.7% in the year to May. The annual pace has been in decline for nine consecutive months.

Weak real estate investment in China indicates that the property market is still soft.

Europe:

European leaders continue to search for ways to assist Greece but agreement has yet to be reached. 

Given that parliaments will have to ratify agreements, the deadline for standard forms of aid may already have passed. Greece is required to repay IMF loans on 30 June but has said that it is unable to make the payment.

Japan:

No major data released.

New Zealand:

GDP growth in the March quarter was 0.2%, below the forecast of 0.6% and the lowest quarterly rate in two years.

The annual growth rate slowed to 2.6%, below forecasts of 3.1%.

It followed a seven-year high of 3.5% growth in the year to the December quarter. The slowdown can be attributed to drought which reduced farming production.

This is seen as a temporary factor.

However, falling dairy prices are contributed to a deteriorating terms of trade (ratio of export to import prices) and therefore weighing on incomes.

Consumer spending, tourism and a stronger housing market were however, supportive factors for the economy.

The downturn in activity justifies the latest rate cut by the RBNZ, and strengthens the case for further easing. 

United Kingdom:

No major data released.

United States:

The US CPI rose 0.4% in May, compared to 0.5% expected and 0.1% in April. Much of the rise was due to a rebound in fuel prices.

The core measure of CPI rose 0.1%. The annual core CPI came in at 1.7% and continues to edge higher. Real average weekly earnings in the US rose 2.3% over the year.

Jobless claims of 267k were below the 277k median estimate. The US Conference Board leading index rose as stronger than expected 0.7% in May while the Philadelphia Fed business survey rose above expectations to 15.2.



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