Despite positive leads from Wall Street, ASX futures are indicating that the Australian share market will open lower this morning.
Yesterday, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump faced off in their first presidential debate. Overall, Clinton was judged the winner, and US equities picked up.
However, oil prices fell overnight after Iran said it would raise production, instead of freezing output at current levels. Now there is little hope that this week’s OPEC meeting at Algeria will result in any meaningful outcome on stabilising oil markets.
US economic news
Despite that, the latest economic data inidcates that it is looking rosier for the American economy. The Consumer Confidence Index rose higher than expected, reaching a level of 104.1 this month (which was higher than expected). This is also an improvement over the August revised reading of 101.8.
The Purchasing Managers Index, rose to 51.9 in September. This is an improvement over the August reading of 51. This data also revealed that the rate of expansion in US business activity picked up for the first time in three months during September, but is still relatively modest.
Wall Street finished higher, with the Dow Jones gaining 0.7 per cent to close at 18,228. The S&P 500 was up 0.6 per cent to close at 2,160 and the NASDAQ added 0.9 per cent to close at 5,306.
European markets finished lower: London’s FTSE lost 0.2 per cent, Paris slipped 0.2 per cent and Frankfurt dipped 0.3 per cent.
Asian markets closed higher: the Nikkei gained 0.8 per cent, the Hang Seng added 1.1 per cent, and the Shanghai Composite was up 0.6 per cent.
The Australian share market finished lower yesterday: The S&P/ASX 200 Index was down 26 points to close at 5,406. This morning, on the futures market, the SPI is down 6 points.
The Australian Dollar at 7:20AM was buying $US76.68 cents, 58.9 Pence, 76.98 Yen and 68.37 Euro cents.
Seymour Whyte Ltd (ASX:SWL) has been awarded its first VicRoads contract to construct the Young Street Improvement Project in Frankston, in the outer suburbs of Melbourne. The engineering and construction company opened its office in Melbourne last year and says this contract is worth $10 million. The company also says it currently on the shortlisted to tender on five other projects in Victoria. Shares in Seymour Whyte closed 2.5% lower at 78 cents.
The TFS Corporation Ltd (ASX:TFC) says it has received US$2.25 million in cash for supplying its first shipment of processed wood to China. The company is expecting subsequent deliveries to occur monthly, under its five-year agreement to supply 150 tonnes of Indian sandalwood each year to China. Shares in TFS closed 4.18% higher at $1.50.
A number of companies are going ex-dividend today. They include: APN Property Group (ASX:APD), Gazal Corporation (ASX:GZL), Myer Holdings (ASX:MYR), Prime Financial (ASX:PFG) and SG Fleet (ASX:SGF).
Gold has lost $13.40 cents to $US1,331 an ounce.
Silver has lost $0.38 to $19.22.
Copper is down 3 cents to $2.17 a pound.
Oil is down $1.00 to $US44.93 a barrel.