Outlook: Aus shares set to drop on open

Market Reports


Following sharp falls in commodity prices and across overseas markets the Australian share market looks set to drop on open extending last week’s losses.
 
Oil prices hit seven year lows sending US stocks plunging as investors factor in increasing certainty of a Federal Reserve interest rate rise as soon as next week. 
 
Markets

Wall Street closed lower on Friday: The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 1.8 per cent to close at 17,265, the S&P 500 lost 1.9 per cent to close at 2,012 and the NASDAQ slipped 2.2 per cent to close at 4,933.
 
European markets closed also closed down: London’s FTSE shed 2.2 per cent, Paris lost 1.8 per cent and Frankfurt retreated 2.4 per cent.
 
Asian markets closed mixed: Tokyo’s Nikkei added nearly one per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng dropped 1.1 per cent, and China’s Shanghai Composite slipped 0.6 per cent.
 
The Australian share market closed lower on Friday: The S&P/ASX 200 Index closed 8 points down to finish at 5,029 to be 122 points lower on the week. On the futures market the SPI is 73 points down. 

Currencies

The Australian Dollar at 7:20AM was buying 72.05 US cents, 47.37 Pence Sterling, 87.22 Yen and 65.60 Euro cents.

Company news
 
Smartgroup Corporation Limited (ASX:SIQ) says it is on track for a 46 per cent increase in EBITA for the 2015 calendar year. The company also announced it will acquire Advantage Salary Packaging for $61 million. Shares in Smartgroup last traded 2.97 per cent higher at $3.81. 
 
Regional Express Holdings Limited (ASX:REX) says it has taken advantage of the recent drop in the oil price to hedge it’s jet fuel for 1H 2017 resulting in savings of around $2.5 million. Shares in Regional Express last traded 3.8 per cent down at $0.885.                 
 
Commodities

Gold has risen $1.70 to US$1073.70 an ounce for the February contract on Comex. Silver has slipped 22 cents to $13.89 fo r March. Copper has added 4 cents to $2.11 a pound. Oil has shed $1.44 to US$36.99 a barrel for January light crude in New York.