Local share prices follow the positive lead from the US and Europe initially but then lose momentum. Although there is some caution ahead of the FOMC meeting decision, there is also optimism that the federal government might be able to secure the numbers to pass its company tax cut legislation.
S&P/ASX 200 Intraday
ASX Sector Indices (% change)
TPG Telecom (TPM) gains 3.8% after analysts at Deutsche Bank upgrade their earnings forecasts, especially for FY18 and FY19. Morgan Stanley is also bullish with a share price target of $7.00 but other major brokers generally have the stock listed as a hold or sell.
Westpac-Melbourne Institute leading economic index climbs from 0.68 to 1.30 in February 2018 suggesting that the economy still has good momentum.
Myer Holdings (MYR) slides 3.5% after posting a first half loss of $476.2 million and scrapping its half yearly dividend. Total sales for the period were down 3.6% or 3.0% on a like-for-like basis. The main reason for the loss was the decision to take impairment charges of $515.3 million on goodwill and the value of its brand names.
Contango Asset Management (CGA) jumps 20.0% after acquiring Switzer Asset Management in all-scrip deal.
Fonterra Shareholders' Fund (FSF) slips 0.4% after the Co-op reports a half-yearly net loss of NZ$176 million, down from a profit of NZ$644 million last year. The loss was mostly due to impairment charges of NZ$405 million. Revenue for the period was up 6.5%.
ASX Market Moving Stocks
Nufarm (NUF) surges 5.5% despite reporting a 43.0% drop in interim net profit to $11.5 million. Revenue for the period was up 7.4%, or 9.9% in constant currency terms.
Embattled lithium producer Anson Resources (ASN) dives another 17.0% as investors react negatively to yesterday's disappointing drilling results.
In the US, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) raises the Fed funds rate target by 25 basis points to 1.75%. Its dot plot suggests that at least another two more rate hikes are on the drawing board for 2018.