Despite the election uncertainty resulting from the weekend, the ASX (Australian Stock Exchange) closed better; as did the currency. ASX closed up 0.65%, having suffered an opening wobble but the AUD will be eagerly watched at the RBA meeting – was last seen up 0.6% in late European trading. The Nikkei opened lower but managed a steady recovery the balance of the day to close +0.6% following other Asia core indices. Shanghai and Hang Seng were both strong returning 1.9% and 1.25% respectively. The PBOC set Yuan a little higher at 6.6472 against the USD.
Independence Day is always a time to catch-up with emails, lunches and Wimbledon but there was not much of that today as the uncertainty continues to hang in the balance. UK Chancellor announced over the weekend that a cut in Corporation Tax is likely soon. Nigel Farage (leader of UK Independence Party) announced his resignation this morning. The UK has yet to invoke Article 50 as discussion continue as to the next leader of the ruling UK Conservative Party (rumours say it will be between Theresa May and Andrea Leadsom (backed by Boris Johnson)). In Italy PM Renzi has entered a battle with the EU over Italian Bank rescue plans; bank stocks were hit with Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena SpA stock losing 14% in todays trading. All core European indices lost ground closing between 0.7-0.9% lower on the day. IBEX was the better performer losing just 0.2% overall. Talk remains that the main concern for European and UK banks remains their exposure to property prices. Any significant development there will impact many banks.
In European Bond Market the bid continues for government “security” as the ECB plays its part. The ECB bought €85.1bn of debt in June. The holdings of public and private-sector debt is approximately 1.08tln as of June 30th. 10yr Bund closed this evening at -0.14% (-1bp), Italy 1.24% (+1bp), Greece 7.69% (+1bp), Turkey 8.88% (+5bp), Portugal 2.95% (-3bp) and UK Gilt 10yr closed 0.83% (-2bp).
Gold saw a $10 rally while oil came off the intraday highs to close just around the $50 mark.