The Australian sharemarket has a positive lead from the US where a strong jobs report sent Wall Street to record highs.
Both the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq closed at their highest levels ever. Financial and technology stocks leading the way as US investors gained confidence the economy there is still growing.
US economic news
The Labor Department said 255,000 jobs were added in July, well above expectations and a second month of gains. The unemployment rate stays unchanged at 4.9 per cent.
Wall Street closed higher on Friday: The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 1 per cent to close at 18,544, the S&P 500 added 0.9 per cent to close at 2,183 and the NASDAQ advanced 1.1 per cent to close at 5,221.
European markets also closed higher: London’s FTSE gained 0.8 per cent, Paris rose 1.5 per cent and Frankfurt improved 1.4 per cent.
Asian markets closed mixed: Tokyo’s Nikkei was flat, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was up 1.44 per cent, and China’s Shanghai Composite slipped 0.2 per cent.
The Australian share market closed higher on Friday: The S&P/ASX 200 Index closed 22 points up to finish at 5,497 to be 65 points down over the week. On the futures market the SPI is 31 points up.
The Australian Dollar at 7:30AM was buying 76.07 US cents, 58.20 Pence Sterling, 77.56 Yen and 68.61 Euro cents.
Due out today from ANZ are local job advertisements for the month of July.
Primary Health Care Limited (ASX:PRY) has announced it has parted ways with its General Manager of Pathology, James Bateman. Mr. Bateman was the son of Primary Health Care founder Dr Edmund Bateman and leaves the medical centre operator after 25 years with the company.Shares in Primary Health Care last traded 1.78 per cent higher at $4.00.
Voltage IP Limited (ASX:VIP) has secured $2.1 million of additional funding through convertible notes to sophisticated investors. The funds will be used to finalise the commissioning of two new rubber glove lines in Malaysia and to investigate business acquisition opportunities. Shares in VIP last traded at $0.175.
Three companies are going ex-dividend today: AMCIL Limited (ASX:AMH) will pay 3.5 cents, Ozgrowth Limited (ASX:OZG) will pay a quarter of a cent and Westoz Investments Limited (ASX:WIC) will pay 3 cents all of these with full franking credits.
Gold has tumbled $26 to $US1,341 an ounce for the December contract on Comex. Silver has slipped 72 cents to $19.73 for September. Copper is down 1 cent to $2.16 a pound for September. Oil has added 5 cents to $US41.98 a barrel for September light crude in New York.