Futures flat ahead of statements by Fed and Bank of England
In a week marked by extreme rallies and sharp declines, the S&P/ASX 200 finished 67 points lower at 5859 points.
While overseas markets experienced extreme volatility during the week, a factor that generally had a negative impact on our market, there were mixed leads on Friday.
Consequently, today’s open is likely to be more about the week ahead rather than the week that was, and on this note fiscal statements by the Fed in the US and the Bank of England in the UK could have a significant impact on the market.
This level of uncertainty is borne out in the ASX SPI200 Futures index which is up just 4 points to 5852 points.
Dow up, NASDAQ down
The performance of US markets highlighted prevailing uncertainty with the Dow finishing up 131 points or 0.5% at 27,665 points.
In contrast the NASDAQ shed 0.6% or 66 points, closing at 10,853 points, more than 10% lower than the all-time high of 12,074 points that it struck early in December.
The S&P 500 was more balanced, gaining just two points to close at 3341 points.
There were plenty of investors sitting on the fence in Europe with the DAX off just six points as it closed at 13,202 points, while the CAC 40 gained 10 points or 0.2%, closing at 5034 points.
Despite oil and gas stocks being knocked around and the re-emergence of Brexit turbulence, the FTSE 100 staged a late session surge to close at 6032 points, up 0.5%.
It has been a rough week for oil with the Brent Crude Oil Continuous Contract falling in excess of 5% from more than US$42 a barrel on Monday to close at US$39.83 per barrel.
There was little movement across most other commodities with the gold price finishing flat on a week-on-week basis as it hovers just shy of US$1950 per ounce.
Iron ore was one of the few commodities to make a meaningful move at the end of the week, gaining 1.8% to close at US$128.40 per tonne.
There was little variation in base metals prices on Friday, aside from zinc which rallied 2.7% to close at US$1.10 per pound.
However, its closing price represents a retracement of about 3.5% after a strong 6 month surge that saw it peak at US$1.15 per pound.
There was little movement in the Australian dollar on a week-on-week basis as it finished just shy of US$0.73.