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Markets simmer

Tesla, man and machine

A lack of catalysts saw stock and bonds largely mark time overnight. Sentiment remains positive – illustrated by a lower US dollar a stronger industrial commodity prices. However markets are now looking for something more than vaccine optimism and government stimulus efforts to spur another leg higher.

Traders turned to individual stocks and hugely volatile cryptocurrency markets. CMC’s All Crypto Index advanced 6.5% in a scramble for a technological edge in blockchain technology. The new top candidate is Cardano, but overnight it was NEO and EOS that led the charge with double digit gains.

Less than a third of US stocks are left to report for the fourth quarter. Overall sales growth of around 2.5% is lifting earnings, with basic materials, consumer goods and technology the main beneficiaries. Uber reported a narrower loss for the quarter this morning, and the company remains confident it will be profitable this year. Despite a good report and positive outlook, Uber shares fell 3%, pulling back from all-time highs reached in the lead up to the announcement.

Australian investors have a lot to consider this morning. Newcrest mining doubled its profit for the half year on the back of soaring gold bullion prices, smashing analyst estimates. Telstra surprised with a 15% decline in earnings, and the total dividend of 8 cents per share may not save it from investor anger. Transurban declared a net loss of $419 million, and the ASX saw a small decline in its first half net income.

AMP continued its horror run, with a 32.7% decline in profits that was well wide of consensus forecasts. The company informed shareholders that the Ares group will not launch a whole of company bid for AMP, but continues discussion of a potential purchase of AMP Capital. AMP shares may come under severe pressure in trading today.

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