China E-Commerce Law Update — The a2 Milk Company

A new law governing e-commerce has been enacted in China, with the implications looking to assist The a2 Milk company.

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Morning News Summary

Markets Rally to Close the Week

Most overseas equity markets experienced significant gains to close the week, with a number of regional factors aiding each respective market. In the US markets were mixed as tech stocks fell, however, in the UK, Europe and Asia, equities were in the green. 

US stocks weighed by tech, albeit the Dow pushed into record highs

The Dow Jones Industrial Average posted an all-time high on Thursday and it continued to march higher on Friday, posting a +0.3% gain. However, a downturn in major tech companies, particularly internet-related stocks, weighed on the broader market, with the S&P 500 closing flat and the Nasdaq Composite down -0.5%.

Helping lift the Dow Jones into record territory was a +1.0% gain in AT&T shares after a Wall Street analyst upgraded the stock to buy, while fellow telco company Verizon also helped with a +0.9% gain. The top performing stocks in the Dow Jones were McDonald’s Corp (+2.8%) and Cisco Systems (+1.7%). Micron Technology fell -2.9% after strong quarterly results were overshadowed by a softer outlook compared to expectations. The fall reversed gains made in the previous session. Adobe Systems (-2.1%) announced that it has agreed to buy software firm Marketo from a private-equity firm for US$4.8bn. Elsewhere in the tech sector the well known FAANG stocks all slid by more than 1%, weighing significantly on the Nasdaq Composite. Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix and Google/Alphabet fell by -1.9%, -1.1%, -1.5%, -1.1% and -1.6% respectively. After a drawn out takeover battle between Comcast (+0.2%) and 21st Century Fox (-0.5%), Comcast has secured the top bid for Sky PLC (-1.2%), winning the company with a US$38.8bn bid in a three-round auction. Walt Disney, which is acquiring most of Fox, fell -1.1%.

European and UK stocks continue rallies to close the week

The Stoxx Europe 600 add +0.4%, extending its rally to six consecutive positive sessions, as the initial slow start began to crescendo thanks to some heavy lifting from stocks in the financial and oil sectors. 

A slide in sterling after a speech by prime minister Theresa May, in which she said the UK must continue to prepare for a “no-deal” Brexit scenario in the face of the EU’s stubborn position in negotiations, helped the UK’s FTSE 100 rally +1.7% higher. Mining and consumer stocks were key drivers. Topping the FTSE in gains were Kingfisher (+5.6%) and Tui (+4.0%). The mining sector was the best performer, with shares of Glencore (+4.7%), Antofagasta (+4.4%) and Anglo American (+3.9%) amongst the biggest gainers.

Asian market broadly higher

Asian markets mostly rallied, with India’s Bombay SE (-0.8%) the only major laggard, as markets extended the Thursday global rally. The Shanghai Composite climbed +2.5%, notching its best weekly run in more than two years, while the Hang Seng, Taiwan SE, Singapore Strait Times, Topix and Kospi rose by +1.7%, +1.3%, +1.2%, +0.9% and +0.7% respectively.

The ASX 200 followed the global rally higher but dipped slightly from intraday highs to close up +0.4%.

Crude rose, gold fell and iron ore stays flat

WTI crude rose +1.4% to US$71.78, while gold fell -0.7% to US$1,199.00, and iron ore remained flat at US$69.50.

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