Risk returns to markets and Europe and Asia see gains
September is historically a tricky month for markets but there’s no sign of that so far. European markets showed signs of a return to risk-taking in early trading today as speculation about stimulus from the European Central Bank continued to bubble. Interest in safe haven waned as investors speculated on a shot in the arm for the Eurozone when the ECB meets on Thursday. Asia’s trading day was more buoyant than yesterday, which saw subdued trading with the US markets closed. China and Japan saw rises in their respective stocks, the latter boosted by a forthcoming government reshuffle. Australia’s central bank has announced that its cash rate will stay at an historic low but this had little effect on the country’s stocks. US futures are trending upwards.
Construction spending data from the Census Bureau due at 10am ET.
Manufacturing data from the Institute for Supply Management also due at 10am ET.
Yahoo stocks rise ahead of Alibaba launch
If you’re not aware of Alibaba then now may a good time to become acquainted. The Chinese e-commerce firm is responsible for handling four fifths of the money spent in China in online transactions. In the three months to June, the company signed up 24 million new active users and the amount its users spend is up by a staggering 45 per cent on last year. As China’s prosperity continues to produce more potential users, spending more, the firm is set for continued growth; 30 per cent in two years is one prediction. Yahoo owns 24 per cent of Alibaba and with an IPO forthcoming, there is much interest in the markets. In pre-trading today, Yahoo stocks are up around 2 per cent so far. Read the full story.
Is it too soon to write off music shops?
There’s no disputing the massive rise in downloading music, driven by Apple’s iTunes and a big area for Amazon. The demise of the physical music shop has long been predicted and yet there are signs that the sector is fighting back. HMV, the UK chain that has been around for decades, was placed into administration 18 months ago and was picked up by Hilco Capital for $82.7 million. The financial restructuring firm has since closed underperforming stores, cut staff numbers and tackled issues of pricing and stock inventory. The mission to save and grow the iconic brand seems to be working. The company reports growth in its UK, Ireland and Canada operations. However analysts remain sceptical about the company’s claim that they will overtake Amazon as the biggest entertainment retailer in the UK market. Much will depend perhaps on how sentimental consumers are for traditional music retailers and physical products. Read the full story.
Canadians choose Bitcoin for salary payment
A growing number of Canadians are choosing to be paid in the digital Bitcoin currency rather than the dollar, according to a payroll firm. Wagepoint say that the interest is mostly from those working in the technology sector. Although payments in Bitcoin are not accepted on most stores or businesses, and are taxed as property rather than cash, this small but growing band of innovators will be banking on Bitcoin values increasing, as they have done in the last year or so. For now though, most of us more sceptical workers will continue to take the cash we’re used to. Read the full story.