us equities up as oil crisis recedes

  1. 6,368 Posts.
    RWE News
    7:32:020 6/04/2005

    Sydney - Wednesday - April 6: (RWE Australian Business News)

    US equities have closed modestly higher after crude oil continued
    to retreat and Fed chairman Alan Greenspan indicated that market forces
    could cool off further price hikes.
    Financial market confidence was also dented by Moody's Investor
    Services cutting General Motors Corp.'s debt ratings by one notch to
    Baa3, the lowest investment grade and only one level before junk bonds.
    The ratings company also said it was reviewing Ford Motor
    Co.'s debt for a possible downgrade.
    Wall Street took the GM news in its stride reflected by the Dow
    up 37, the S&P 500 5, the Nasdaq composite 8 and 100 index up 7.
    Meanwhile central bank chairman Greenspan failed to elaborate on
    what high energy prices could do to inflation.
    Dr Greenspan suggested market forces could eventually lead to a
    big enough increase in crude oil inventories to cool the recent oil price
    "If sustained, these market technicals could encourage enough of
    an inventory buffer to damp the current price frenzy," the Fed chairman
    On the New York Mercantile Exchange the May crude settled 97c
    lower at $56.04 barrel while the June contract fell $1 to $57.10 barrel.

    The Department of Energy also referred to swelling US crude oil
    inventories, running at their highest level in nearly three years.
    Solid imports could show continued increases to US inventories,
    the Department claimed.
    High supply levels in the world's biggest energy consumer offset
    concerns that rapid energy demand growth in Asia could outpace growth in
    This has been the driver boosting US crude prices about 30
    percent so far this year.
    Fed chairman Greenspan says higher oil prices have slowed oil
    demand growth, "but only modestly."
    Traders believe that if oil prices can be held down a sizable
    sharemarket could materialise.
    There was no data released today.
    In Treasuries markets moved in both directions. The 10 year cash
    paper yield edged up a point to 4.47 per cent.
    On currencies a slightly easier US dollar helped gold off the
    floor, after the yellow metal added 60c to $424.50 oz on the Comex spot.
    The Aussie dollar gained 40 points on the greenback to change
    hands at US76.88c.

    WALL STREET ... settled 37.32 points higher at 10,458.46 on the
    Dow Jones Industrial Average index. The broadly-based S&P 500 finished
    5.27 points in front at 1,181.39. The Nasdaq composite ended 8.25 points
    better at 1999.32 while the 100 index ended 7.03 points higher at 1483.75
    on the close. Treasuries again showed little activity other than the GM
    re-rating by Moody's. The 10-year cash paper slipped 2/32 ticks to 96
    8/32, lifting the yield 1 point to 4.47 per cent.

    US DOLLAR ... has been easier and subdued against major
    currencies. The greenback is selling at 108.13 yen, down from 108.34 at
    the previous close in NY. The euro is at 1.2869 (prev 1.2850) and
    sterling is 1.8807 (prev 1.8750). The greenback is at 1.2052 Swiss francs
    (prev 1.2095).

    AUSTRALIAN DOLLAR ... has been stronger against the greenback. It
    is changing hands at US76.88c, up 40 points on last night's local close.
    High for the session was US76.986c and low was US76.26c. Crosses were
    mixed. The yen is at 83.14 (prev 83.15) 0.5975 euros (prev 0.5975) and
    40.87 pence on sterling (prev 40.94).

    EUROPEAN SHAREMARKETS ... closed moderately higher across all
    boards as oil prices retreat from their recent record highs and investors
    await US Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan's speech on energy and
    interest rates later today.
    In London, the FTSE 100 closed at its highest point for two
    months. The major talking point was a sharp jump of nearly 18 per cent to
    633.0p in the shares of the wine and spirits business Allied Domecq.
    There has been speculation over many months that French counterpart
    Pernod Ricard was interested in acquiring Allied, now it looks to be
    confirmed. The market seems to think that Pernod will bid around 650p per
    share, which values Allied around 7.2 billion pounds. In Paris, Pernod
    Ricard shares climbed 5.11 per cent to 113.2 euros. As oil prices
    retreated in New York, fuel-price sensitive stocks responded. British
    Airways gained 1 per cent to 262.0p. According to a Reuters report, BA
    said that its passenger traffic for March was 4.5 per cent higher than
    for the same period a year ago. Additionally, its load load factor, or
    how many tickets were sold on flights, gained 1.7 per cent in March, to
    75.7 per cent of full capacity.
    On the Continent, the weaker euro against the US dollar helped
    shares of major exporters. French car manufacturers, Renault and Peugeot,
    gained 2.31 per cent to 70.90 euros and 1.70 per cent to 49.64 euros,
    respectively. In other news, French defence contractor Thales saw its
    shares gain 1.09 per cent to 32.41 euros on speculation that the company
    is about to move closer to local shipyard group Direction des
    Constructions Navales. On the earnings front, insurer Swiss Life reported
    a lift in 2004 net profit to 624 million Swiss francs from 233 million
    francs a year earlier, as gross premiums were up 8 per cent to 20.3
    billion francs. Swiss Life shares added 2.13 per cent to 186.90 francs.
    At the close, London's FTSE 100 rose 46.20 to 4942.90, Paris's
    CAC-40 advanced 35.62 to 4087.94 and Frankfurt's DAX added 21.22 to
    4362.61. In other markets, Amsterdam firmed 2, Madrid climbed 92 and
    Zurich gained 44.

    METALS ... were a touch firmer as the US dollar wilted. Spot gold
    rose 60c to $424.50 oz while the June contract added a similar amount to
    $426.60 oz on COMEX. Silver rose 0.9 to $7.043 oz on the May contract.
    The active July platinum gained $1.60 to $857.30 oz on NYMEX. But New
    York May copper fell 1.05c to 148.45c lb. Closing three months prices on
    the LME were copper $3232 tonne, tin $8000, lead $940, zinc $1352,
    aluminium $1930 and nickel $15,700 tonne.

    Three-month London Metals Exchange official bid prices were
    mixed. Copper fell $21 to $3211 tonne, lead fell $15 to $930, zinc
    slipped $18 to $1332, tin lost $150 to $8000. But nickel rose $65 to
    $15,690 and aluminium ended $16 behind at $1922 tonne.

    OIL ... settled 97c lower at $56.04 barrel for May crude on
    the New York Mercantile Exchange. High for the session was $57.20 and
    low $56 barrel. The June contract ended $1 lower at $57.10 barrel while
    the high was $58.25 and low $57 barrel. In the UK May Brent crude-oil
    futures contract droppped 79c to $55.44 a barrel on the International
    Petroleum Exchange.

    The CRB index fell 1.33 points to 308.77

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