Markets Overview

In local stock markets the ASX200 finished higher with the local big 4-banks leading the charge with the benchmark index holding above the 5,500 level. The slow performer yesterday was the mining sector which saw some of the larger players such as BHP and Rio Tinto lose some ground.

In overseas markets we saw some big news in European stocks with US pharmaceutical giant Pfizer offering a merger deal with British competitor AstraZeneca. This news coupled with strong performances from other European pharmaceutical giants has seen the industry lift most of the major Euro indexes in overnight trading.

The US stock market saw some steady gains off the back of the Pfizer news and some strong performances from the tech sector but was hampered by a slide from Bank of America shares with news they are suspending dividend and buybacks.

In commodities news we have seen a slight drop in Aluminium and Copper on the London Metals Exchange while traders have started to make a move back to Gold amid rising tensions in Ukraine.

USD

A quiet day yesterday against the USD, a little bit of movement over night with a better than expected pending home sales. The main piece of economic data this week is the employment report on Friday. We may see a little movement this today with consumer confidence steady.