ASX poised to open higher ahead of Chinese economic data

Stock Markets

Australian shares are poised to open higher today, as US stocks pared recent losses overnight. Wall Street's major indexes closed higher on a sector-wide rally which saw the Dow Jones, S&P 500, and NASDAQ 100 gaining 148.23 (+0.58%), 19.4 (+0.69%) and 52.37 (+0.69%) points respectively. The Dow Jones was able to close in the green as the intense selling pressure on Boeing Co eased after the US and Canada announced the grounding of the company's 737's.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index closed marginally down 13.6 (-0.22%) points on Wednesday, with oil stocks falling the most. The recent drop in the share price of oil stocks can be attributed to investors positioning themselves in response to news of the world's largest wealth fund planning to sell its stakes in oil and gas companies. Woodside Petroleum, Santos and Beach Energy closed down 1.29%, 1.15% and 2.43% respectively.

ASX 200 futures are currently up 20 points ahead of the release of China's February economic data. 

Today's data releases: China retail sales February, China Industrial Production February, China Fixed Assets Investments February, China Unemployment Rate February; US import price index February, New home sales January, Consumer inflation expectations March

Commodities and Currencies

Oil prices are continuing to rally on the back of a large US inventories drawdown, sanctions stalling exports from Venezuela, as well as OPEC production cuts. Brent and WTI crude are currently sitting at US$67.64 (+1.45%) and US$58.26 (+2.44%) respectively.

Iron ore prices are down 0.61% to US$84.78 per tonne.

The spot price of gold is currently marginally up 0.6% at US$1308.90.

The AUD is currently down 0.01% at US70.93¢.

This article was written by Mithun Fernando – Investment Analyst, Rivkin Securities Pty Ltd. Enquiries can be made via info@rivkin.com.au or by phoning +612 8302 3633.