Share market indices around the globe pushed higher in overnight trading. Better than forecast company profits against a backdrop of lower interest rates for longer drove the gains. Bonds prices found support and currency markets remained steady. Oil prices fell on slower Russian compliance with OPEC cuts but copper and iron ore added to recent gains. Overall action indicates a cautious risk on move ahead of a State of the Nation address from the US President.
Energy giant BP led the action, beating analysts’ estimates by around 7.5% on higher production and improved operational efficiency. In both Europe and the US consumer stocks featured, although the gains were broad based across sectors. Financials lagged on concerns a weaker and more stable interest rate environment could damage margins
The US dollar index trickled over 96, pushing Sterling below $1.30, and the Yen flirted with the 110 level.
The Commonwealth bank of Australia reported a modest 1.7% lift in operating profit, although overall profit fell 2.1% on higher impairment charges. The result is below consensus forecasts and may see CBA shares give back some of yesterday’s extraordinary gains. Other results this morning are more impressive, and IAG, Bunnings Trust and Dexus Property delivered pleasant surprises to shareholders.