Daytrading Feb 10 pre-market

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    Morning traders. Thanks Trees and after-market regulars.

    Market wrap:

    Shares face a soft open for a second day after market-negative developments in Greece, China and Ukraine fuelled a 'risk-off' session in the US.

    The March SPI 200 futures contract retreated seven points or 0.1% to 5753 a day after the ASX 200 broke its longest winning run on record. The benchmark index yesterday fell 0.1%, ending a run of 12 straight positive closes.

    US stocks fell for a second session after Greece's Prime Minister rejected an extension to its bailout package, China released its worst imports data in more than five years and President Barack Obama said the US was considering providing arms to Ukraine. The  S&P 500 fell as low as 2,042 before closing eight points or 0.42% in the red at 2,047. The Dow lost 95 points or 0.53% and the Nasdaq 18 points or 0.39%.

    “Concerns about Greece remain an issue, and until we get past that, we’re likely to remain in a trading range,” Michael James, managing director of equity trading at Wedbush Securities in the US, told Bloomberg. “Until some of these Greece headlines can be removed from the equation, that’s likely to inhibit short-term market upside.”

    Greek bond yields surged after Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras raised the stakes in his stand-off with a troika of international lenders by vowing to end austerity and reject the option to extend the current bailout package. Tsipras also insisted he will raise the minimum wage and cancel plans to privatise infrastructure. The news helped drive the Stoxx Europe 600 down 0.74% as Germany's DAX lost 1.68%, France's CAC 0.85% and Britain's FTSE 0.24%.

    “The word to describe the situation would be fear,” John Plassard, vice president at Mirabaud Securities in Switzerland, told Bloomberg. “Tsipras announced Greece would not accept an extension of the financial-assistance program. This raises concerns of tensions and fears for the worst for Greek banks and European banks.”

    Ukraine was back on the radar after President Obama said the US may supply Ukraine with weapons if current diplomatic efforts failed to end a long-running crisis in the east of the country, where pro-Russia rebels are fighting government troops. Obama's comments followed a meeting in Washington with German Chancellor Angel Merkel. Read more here.

    Traditional havens, including gold and US government bonds, were the main beneficiaries of the session. Treasury yields fell and gold rallied for the first time in three sessions. Gold for April delivery settled $6.90 or 0.6% ahead at US$1,241.50 an ounce.

    BHP and Rio Tinto shrugged off weak Chinese trade data and declines in Australian trade yesterday. BHP rallied 1.95% and Rio Tinto 1.64% in US trade. Spot iron ore for import to China yesterday slipped 20 cents to US$61.60 a dry tonne.

    Oil scored its seventh rise from the last eight sessions after the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries raised its demand growth outlook for the year. West Texas Intermediate crude oil for March delivery settled $1.17 or 2.3% higher at US$52.86 a barrel.

    Copper edged higher in London as traders bet that soft weekend trade data will encourage the authorities to launch fresh stimulus measures. In London, copper and aluminium both added 0.4%. Nickel fell 0.3%, lead 0.1%, tin 1.5% and zinc 0.1%. US copper for March delivery was recently down less than a quarter of a cent at US$2.58 a pound.

    The dollar was this morning buying 78.11 US cents.

    TRADING THEMES TODAY

    RE-RUNS OFFER EXCUSE FOR RETREAT: There was nothing new on Wall Street TV last night, just re-runs of a few old favourites: 'The Break-up' starring Angela Merkel and Alexis Tsipras, 'Fight Night' featuring Vladimir Putin and Petro Poroshenko (corner man Barack Obama) and 'China Blues', a classic movie screened so often that most of us can recite the script by heart. (The sequel to the latter may get a run when Chinese inflation figures are released today at 12.45pm EST.) Back home, the spec sector finally sparked into life yesterday, with DML and GMM offering timely reminders that quick riches are still possible even in these desultory times for micro caps. A sign of better things to come?

    ECONOMIC NEWS: January business confidence data and the quarterly house price index are due at 11.30am EST. China releases monthly CPI and PPI figures at 12.45pm. Another low-key session ahead in the US includes wholesale inventories, JOLTS job openings, economic optimism and a speech by a member of the Fed.

    Good luck to all.
 
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