There was little conviction from US equity markets on Friday although a late rally assisted the S&P500 finish in the black up 0.3 percent on the day. Economic news saw US GDP fell short of estimates recording a 2.7 percent growth in the first quarter against initial estimations of 3 percent growth. Consumer confidence data from Reuters/University of Michigan rose to 76 in June from a previous 73.6.
Banking Stocks find their feet on the back of Wall Street reform bill as investors perceived the regulation was not as tight as initially predicted.
Coinciding with a late rally on US equity markets the Aussie dollar was able to climb back over 87 US cents reaching highs of 87.6 US cents. The Aussie closed the week at 87.35 US cents and remains well bid this morning at 87.6 US cents.
Over the weekend, the Austerity Vs. Growth debate continued as the G20 reconvened in Toronto, Canada. Beneath the usual fluff and pledges of unity, from the outside it does appear the policy gap has been bridged somewhat. Labeled growth-friendly fiscal consolidation advanced economies have pledged to aim to at least halve deficits by 2013 and stabilize their debt-to-output ratios by 2016; however, efforts to get respective economies back on the straight and narrow will be tailored for individual circumstances. The G20 also pledged to keep economic stimulus in place, whilst sending a clear message to the market at the opportune time stimulus measures will be phased out.
Looking to the week ahead, locally we can expect more conjecture surround Prime Minister Gillard’s take on the mining tax which is likely to be a driver of both equities and the local unit. Building approvals in Australia are expected to improve and Retails sales are tipped to grow by 0.3 percent in May from a previous 0.6 percent.
The US will release a host of economic feedback, namely Non-farm payrolls which are expected to show 110,000 job cuts in June after the Census Bureau let go about 243,000 workers – This is likely to keep distorting payroll figures in the near term. However the finer points of the headline figures will as usual be under scrutiny. The US Unemployment rate is expected to edge up from 9.7 percent to 9.8 percent.