On Wall Street overnight, stocks rebounded on strong retail sales in the US. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 38.97 points, or 0.22 percent, to 18,039.3, the S&P 500 gained 3.66 points, or 0.17 percent, to 2,108.86 and the Nasdaq Composite added 5.82 points, or 0.11 percent, to 5,082.51.
Asia-Pacific markets had a mixed day with the Hang Seng climbing 1.39 per cent to 27,280.54, the Shanghai Composite up 0.87 per cent to 20,407.08 and the Nikkei etched up slightly to 20,407.8 up 0.12 per cenrt. The STI closed flat at 3,352.21, 4.54 points or 0.14 per cent up. While the ASX 200 finished 11.4 points lower at 5,545.25 on market worries about Greek default and a possible exit from the eurozone and South Korea's KOSPI fell 0.22 per cent to close at 2,052.17.
The US Labor Department released its weekly numbers of new claims for unemployment benefits which held below 300,000 for a 14th week rising 2,000 to 279,000 in the week ended June 6, but remained consistent with a firming labour market according to reports by CNBC. Analysts are also anticipating the Fed’s policy meeting next week, where a decision could be forthcoming on the timing of interest rate rises.
In company news, Twitter announced that CEO Dick Costolo is stepping down to be replaced on an interim basis by co-founder Jack Dorsey on 1 July, with an executive search underway. The market responded positively with Twitter’s share price up 4.41 per cent to $37.42 in after-hours trading.
The market was also abuzz with succession planning speculation at News Corp with signals that 84-year-old tycoon Rupert Murdoch will soon step down and handover to his sons. Speculation was rife that James Murdoch is to take over 21st Century Fox films with older son Lachlan expected to become co-chairman of the group.
The yen eased up after three days of gains including a spike on Wednesday following commentary from the Japanese central bank governor, which stated further declines in the currency were “unlikely”.
The US Dollar rose slightly, despite expectations this would move higher on the back of the strong retail sales announced on Wednesday.
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