Afternoon trading August 1

  1. 8,950 Posts.
    Thanks Oscar and morning crew.

    Half-time round-up:

    Strong Chinese factory data helped fuel an upsurge in US equity futures and a second morning of gains on the ASX ahead of a Reserve Bank rate announcement this afternoon.

    The ASX 200 rallied 40 points or 0.7% to 5761 by the halfway mark after a private gauge of Chinese manufacturing output soothed concerns over yesterday's downbeat official report. Caixin's purchasing managers' index jumped to 51.1 last month from a June reading of 50.4, easing fears that the economy was slowing as the government moves to reduce lending.

    "Operating conditions in the manufacturing sector improved further in July, suggesting the economy's growth momentum will be sustained." Zhengsheng Zhong, Director of Macroeconomic Analysis at CEBM Group, told Reuters.

    US equity futures applauded the news. S&P 500 futures rose 5.5 points or 0.22% and Dow futures 82 points or 0.38%. China's Shanghai Composite gained 0.31%, Hong Kong's Hang Seng 0.46% and Japan's Nikkei 0.17%.

    Back home, utilities topped sector gains with a rise of 2.1%, followed by gold +1.5% and energy +1.4%. Materials gained 0.7% and financials 0.9%. IT was worst of the declining sectors, down 0.9%, followed by health -0.5% and consumer discretionary -0.1%.

    The Reserve Bank met this morning and is due to release a rate statement and any adjustment to the cash rate at 2.30pm EST.

    Crude oil futures advanced 11 cents or 0.22% this morning to US$50.28 a barrel. Gold futures put on $2.70 or 0.21% to US$1,276.10 an ounce. The dollar was buying 80.4 US cents.

    Back towards 5800 we go. It's been like clockwork this last couple of months - range traders must be having a ball. Good volatility among he specs, thanks to the quarterlies. IAM was my big winner - started buying at 2.5c and kept buying all the way to the reversal. Out now. Peanuts from a part-fill in AB1. Bit more from CWY, but could have traded it a lot better.
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