Negative leads from US markets spooked by weaker-than-expected Chinese manufacturing data and rumbles over the budget that was laid down last night are pointing to a negative open for the local stock market.
Wall Street retreated following a sell-off in European equities and falling oil prices meanwhile the surprise interest rate cut from the Reserve Bank yesterday also added to global economic jitters.
Wall Street closed lower yesterday: The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 0.8 per cent to close at 17,751 the S&P 500 lost 0.9 per cent to close at 2,063 and the NASDAQ shed 1.1 per cent to close at 4,763.
European markets also closed lower: London’s FTSE retreated 0.9 per cent, Paris lost 1.6 per cent and Frankfurt slipped 1.9 per cent.
Asian markets closed mixed: Tokyo’s Nikkei was closed. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was down 1.9 per cent, and China’s Shanghai Composite added 1.9 per cent.
The Australian share market closed higher yesterday: The S&P/ASX 200 Index closed 111 points up to finish at 5,354. On the futures market the SPI is 63 points down.
Yesterday’s rate cut had a big effect on the dollar which at 7:20AM was buying 74.85 US cents, 51.54 Pence Sterling, 79.82 Yen and 65.13 Euro cents.
Due out today from the Housing Industry Association is New homes sales for March.
Metals X Limited (ASX:MLX)
has formally raised its bid for Aditya Birla Minerals (ASX:ABY)
. The offer has been upped to one Metals X share for every 4.5 ABY shares (up from one for five) and 8 cents per ABY share in cash. The Reserve Bank of India has been asked for regulatory approval and ABY says it has received no superior offer and it intends to recommend its shareholders accept the offer. Shares in Metals X closed steady yesterday at $1.09.
zipMoney Limited (ASX:ZML)
says it has won an agreement to deliver online and instore checkout payments to Co-op Bookshop, the country’s largest supplier of text books and learning resources. zipPay is a buy now-pay later - no interest ever digital wallet which also bypasses credit cards. Shares in zipMoney closed 6.84 per cent higher yesterday at 62.5 cents.
Two companies are going ex-dividend today: IPE Limited (ASX:IPE)
will pay 5.75 cents with no franking and Koon Holdings (ASX:KNH)
will pay 0.41 cents with no franking.
Gold has slipped $4 to US$1,292 an ounce for the June contract on Comex. Silver has slumped 18 cents to $17.50 for June. Copper is down 5 cents to $2.22 a pound for June. Oil has dipped $1.13 to US$43.65 a barrel for June light crude in New York.