Australia shares seen under pressure, eyes on local data

Sun Feb 2, 2014 5:21pm EST

SYDNEY, Feb 3 (Reuters) - Australian stocks are likely to
struggle on Monday after a report released over the weekend
showed China's factory growth eased to a six-month low in
January, with investors watching for a slew of local economic
data, including the monthly inflation report.
    
    * Australian stock index futures were down 0.4
percent at 5,120.0, a 1.3 percent discount to the underlying
S&P/ASX 200 index, which ended flat on Friday at
5,190.0.
    * New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 index edged down
0.2 percent to 4,866.4 in early trade.
    * A selloff in emerging markets sent a cold chill down Wall
Street, triggering a slide on Friday and making January its
worst month since May 2012 after one of its best years in more
than a decade. 
    * China's factory growth eased to an expected six-month low
in January, hurt by weaker local and foreign demand, a survey
showed, a soft start for the year that heightens worries of an
economic slowdown.
    * Aluminium touched  4-1/2 year lows on Friday and ended
down more than 5 percent for the month as well-stocked consumers
provided little support amid turmoil in emerging markets and
worries about Chinese growth. 
    Gold fell on Friday, notching its first weekly drop in six
weeks due to strong U.S. economic growth, concerns over the U.S.
Federal Reserve's withdrawal of monetary stimulus and a slump in
Chinese demand.
    * Glencore Xstrata has begun loading coal at its
Abbot Point terminal in northeastern Australia after suspending
operations last week due to tropical cyclone Dylan, a company
spokesman said on Sunday. 
    * Electronics retailer JB Hi Fi Ltd said it expects
full-year net profit for 2014 to increase by between 8.3 percent
and 10.8 percent and 8 percent from a year earlier to the range
of A$126.0 million to A$129.0 million.
    * Investors will watch for a slew of local data, including
the TD-MI inflation gauge for January, building approvals for
December and job advertisements for January from Australia and
New Zealand Banking Group.
    * The desire of Australians to be well educated and healthy
is proving an expensive one as escalating costs add to
inflationary pressures even as the broader economy slows, which
means the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) could be forced to
close the door on further rate cuts when it holds its first
policy meeting of the year on Tuesday. 
     
----------------------MARKET SNAPSHOT @ 2212 GMT ------------
                    INSTRUMENT   LAST       PCT CHG   NET CHG
S&P 500                   1782.59     -0.65%   -11.600
USD/JPY                   102.13        0.1%     0.100
10-YR US TSY YLD     2.6494          --     0.000
SPOT GOLD                 1244.13      0.00%     0.000
US CRUDE                  97.49       -0.75%    -0.740
DOW JONES                 15698.85    -0.94%   -149.76
ASIA ADRS                139.03      -1.25%     -1.76
-------------------------------------------------------------   
       
        
  * Big chill gives Dow, S&P worst month since May 2012    
  * Oil falls on Fed, emerging market concerns, spread narrows  
                                            
  * Gold posts weekly fall on US growth, no China demand 
  * Aluminium hits fresh 4-1/2 yr low on China growth worry     
                                         
    
    For a digest of the day's business stories in Australian 
newspapers, double click on    
        
 (Australia/New Zealand bureaux; +61 2 9373 1800/+64 4 471 
4234)
        

 (Reporting by Maggie Lu Yueyang; Editing by Dan Grebler)
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.