Outlook: ASX set to open lower

Market Reports

Following broadly negative leads, the Australian share market looks set to open lower. Oil prices fell overnight, with consumer staples and utility stocks on Wall Street also slipping on the back of mixed earnings reports.

Iron ore prices are looking more positive, up 8.8 per cent to $US70.46 a tonne, with stronger demand from Chinese steel mills helping the big miners.
 
US economic news

Jobless claims have hit an unexpected 42 and a half year low, suggesting a strengthening labor market. Claims were down 6000 to 247,000, the lowest reading since 1973.
 
Markets 

Wall Street closed lower yesterday: The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 0.6 per cent to close at 17,983, the S&P 500 lost 0.5 per cent to close at 2,091 and the NASDAQ lost 0.1 per cent to close at 4946.
 
European markets closed mixed: London’s FTSE down 0.5 per cent, Paris down 0.2 per cent and Frankfurt gained 0.1 per cent.
 
Asian markets closed mixed: Tokyo’s Nikkei added 2.7 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng up 1.8 per cent, and China’s Shanghai Composite down 0.7 per cent.
 
The Australian share market closed higher yesterday: The S&P/ASX 200 Index closed 57 points up to finish at 5,273. On the futures market the SPI is 29 points down. 
 
Currencies

The Australian Dollar at 7:20AM was buying $US0.7742 cents, 54.07 Pence Sterling, 84.72 Yen and 68.60 Euro cents.
 
 
Company news
 
Wesfarmers Limited (ASX:WES) retail sales results are up 5.6 per cent for the third quarter of the 2016 financial year, coming in at $13.8 billion. A record number of transactions over the Easter period bolstered the group’s performance at Coles, while Bunnings was another a strong performer during the quarter, with total sales growth of 11.0 per cent. Shares in Wesfarmers Limited closed 2.78 per cent up yesterday at $42.40
 
Anteo Diagnostics Limited (ASX:ADO) has filed the first of three planned battery composition patents for industrial use of its nano-coating technology. The patents will be applicable to batteries, super-capacitators and other energy related applications. Anteo is looking to commercialise its technology and will begin looking for potential partners over the next 6 to 9 months. Shares in Anteo Limited closed 2.08 per cent up yesterday at $0.0490  

Commodities
 
Gold has lost $4.10 to $US1,250 an ounce for the June contract on Comex. 
Silver has lost $0.04 to $17.14 for May. 
Copper has gained $0.01 to $2.26 a pound. 
Oil has lost $1.00 to $US43.18 a barrel for May light crude in New York.

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