Australian stocks are set to rise this morning, thanks to a strong lead from Wall Street.
Overnight, US markets were boosted by the performance of the Energy sector. This was particularly after crude oil prices shot to a one-year high on the back of comments made by Vladimir Putin. The Russian President said that Russia was prepared to work with OPEC to freeze oil production, and reduce output.
Investors also paid close attention to Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, as they faced off, yesterday, in the second presidential debate, which was characterized largely by personal attacks against each other. The consensus seems to be that Clinton won this debate, as reflected in the strong performance of US equities overnight. However, many people also agreed that Trump performed a lot better than expected.
Wall Street finished higher, with the Dow Jones adding 0.5 per cent to 18,329. The S&P 500 was up 0.5 per cent to close at 2,164 and the NASDAQ gained 0.7 per cent to close at 5,329.
European markets also finished higher: London’s FTSE was up 0.8 per cent, Paris gained 1.1 per cent and Frankfurt added 1.3%.
As for Asian markets, the Shanghai Composite was up 1.5 per cent. Yesterday, the Hong Kong and Tokyo and stock markets were closed.
The Australian share market finished higher yesterday: The S&P/ASX 200 Index was up 8 points to close at 5,475. And on the futures market, this morning, the SPI is up 21 points.
The Australian Dollar at 7:30AM was buying $US76.05 cents, 61.53 Pence, 78.79 Yen and 68.3 Euro cents.
Local economic news
NAB will release its monthly Business Survey today. It will reveal how business confidence fared in September.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics will release its monthly home loans data for August.
The Queensland government has appointed Smartleasing as an approved provider of novated leases for its state employees. Smartleasing is a division of Smartgroup Corporation Ltd (ASX:SIQ), which is in the business of providing employee benefit and workforce optimisation services for businesses around Australia. The arrangement between Smartleasing and the QLD government will begin in November, next month – for an initial term of 3 years. There’s also an option to extend for a further 2 years. Shares in Smartgroup closed 1.96% lower at $7.00.
The BKI Investment Company Ltd (ASX:BKI) says it has completed the acquisition of all the issued capital in an unlisted investment company with net assets of $4.2 million. BKI is a closed end Listed Investment Company, and it paid for this acquisition by issuing almost 2.6 million new shares. Shares in BKI closed 0.32% higher at $1.58.
Two companies are going ex-dividend today.
Oroton will pay a dividend of 3 cents per share, fully franked.
United Overseas Australia will pay a dividend of 0.5 cents. unfranked.
Gold was up $9.60 at $US1,262 an ounce.
Silver has gained 30 cents to $17.68.
Copper is up 3 cents at $2.19 a pound.
Oil is up $1.41 to $US51.22 a barrel.