The Australian equity market gains accelerated on Friday, 07 June 2019, handing stocks their fourth straight day of gains, as risk sentiments improved on reports that United States was considering delaying a 5% tariff on Mexican goods that is set to go into effect from next week. Sentiment was also buoyed by rhetoric from central bankers, including the European Central Bank's, which was interpreted by some as dovish. However, market gains were capped due to anxious about escalating trade disputes between the United States and key trading partners, primarily China. ASX sectors were mostly higher, with materials, energy, information technology, financials, realty, and consumer staples issues being notable gainers. Around late afternoon, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index inclined 36.90 points, or 0.6%, at 6,419.90 points, while the broader All Ordinaries rose 35 points, or 0.54%, at 6,501.40.
Local market received a boost from gains in the Wall Street overnight after reports that Trump administration is considering delaying a planned 5% tariff on all imports from Mexico, as discussions continue over how to stop the flow of Central American migrants to the U.S. border. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 181.10 points, or 0.7%, at 25,720.66. The S&P 500 index rose 17.34 points, or 0.6% to 2,843.49, while the Nasdaq Composite Index added 40.08 points, or 0.5%, to reach 7,615.55.
U.S. and Mexican officials continued trade talks Thursday in a bid to avert import tariffs that Trump has threatened to impose unless Mexico acts to stem the flood of Central American migrants at America's southern border. Lawmakers who have been in talks with both U.S. and Mexican officials said they were hopeful a deal could be reached to satisfy Trump, or at least delay the tariffs.
Sentiment was also buoyed by rhetoric from central bankers, including the European Central Bank's, which was interpreted by some as dovish. The ECB left its overnight deposit interest rate at minus 0.4%, while extending its forecast for how long it will keep rates this low into at least the first half of 2020. The ECB had previously indicated rates would remain on hold through the end of 2019.
However, market topside capped, as investors have been anxious about escalating trade disputes between the United States and key trading partners, primarily China. The trade disputes with Mexico and China threaten to stifle economic growth in the U.S. and globally. Uncertainty surrounding the trade negotiations has sent many traders fleeing to safer investments, such as bonds and gold.
Still, investors have been in a buying mood most of this week because they're betting the Federal Reserve will cut interest rates this year. Fed Chairman Jerome H. Powell said Tuesday that the central bank would “act as appropriate” if the Trump administration's disputes with China and Mexico threatened U.S. economic expansion.
Shares of energy players inclined on following 2% gain in the price of oil overnight on the back of comments from Russian president Vladimir Putin on production levels alongside OPEC nations. Santos, Woodside Petroleum, Oil Search and Beach Energy were up between 1.93% and 3.64%
Materials stocks were mostly higher. Mining giant BHP was up 1.5% and Rio Tinto 0.6%, but Fortescue Metals was down 0.7%.
ECONOMIC NEWS: Australia AiG Construction Index Contracts To Six-Year Low In May -- Australia construction sector continued to contract in May, with a Performance of Construction Index score of 40.4, the latest survey from the Australian Industry Group revealed on Friday. That's down from 42.6 in April and it moves further beneath the boom-or-bust line of 50 - now sitting at a six-year low. Individually, activity, new orders, employment, house building, apartment activity and commercial activity were all firmly in contraction territory. Only engineering activity was barely in expansion.
CURRENCY NEWS: The Australian dollar was little changed against the U.S. dollar on Friday. The Australian dollar was quoted at 69.78 US cents from 69.72 US cents on Thursday.