Not all assets have gained this year. Crude oil, for one, has been slipping. West Texas Intermediate crude (WTI) is down 4.6% since 2 January. And it’s down 7.8% since a recent 6 January peak.
The Rum Rebellion analyses the Aussie stock market from a perspective you won’t get in the mainstream business pages.
The ASX — what factors make it go up and down?
The Australian Stock Market (ASX) is heavily influenced by the banking sector (financials make up around one-third of the index’s value) and the resource sector.
The ASX also frequently moves based on events in the US and Chinese stock markets. In the US, there are three main indices. These are the S&P 500, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) and the Nasdaq Composite. The S&P 500 is an index of the top 500 companies in the US, the DJIA includes 30 of the largest and most influential companies (generally blue-chip, dividend stocks), while the Nasdaq is the tech stock index and includes big names like Intel, Google, Facebook, Apple and Amazon.
In addition to the US markets, we look at Chinese economic data to get a gauge on which way the Chinese economy is heading. This weighs heavily on the fortunes of our resource sector, in particular major miners like FMG, Rio Tinto and BHP, who rely on Chinese demand for iron ore. Iron ore accounts for upwards of 20% of Australian exports, so this is a key bellwether for us.
We also look to other major markets, such as Europe and Japan, who are both important trading partners. With loose monetary policy, European and Japanese stock markets can act as leading indicators for global economic growth (or lack thereof).
Stock Market News and Updates — Our Approach
While all of these factors are obviously important, there is plenty of stuff going on ‘under the hood’, so to speak. We seek to highlight these opportunities, as well as alert you to the danger signs.
To do this, we use charts in our analysis. A picture is worth a thousand words and a chart contains a wealth of information about a stock, sector or index as a whole. So on the days that we’re talking about stocks or stock markets, we’ll throw in a few charts to show you what we’re talking about. This is because charts help you to cut through the noise and opinions, and show you what is really going on in the markets.
By following the stock market updates in this section, you can latch onto emerging market trends and stay up to date on the latest announcements affecting share prices.
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