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US energy stocks surge: ASX to lift on open
October 20, 2016 08:30 AM

The Australian share market will open higher this morning, following positive Wall Street leads.

US stocks finished higher, boosted by better-than-expected earnings reports. The financials sector did particularly well, spurred by Morgan Stanley’s strong quarterly results.

Also, a rise in oil prices and boosted the performance of energy stocks – which were, by far, the best performing US shares.  The rise in oil prices was influenced by the results of Energy Information Administration’s latest data. It reported a surprise drawdown in oil as crude inventories fell by 5.2 million barrels last week.

In regards to the US housing market, data released by the Census Bureau shows that home construction fell by 9 percent last month. However, building permits, which indicate future construction, went up by 6.3 percent.


Wall Street closed higher overnight: The Dow Jones gained 0.2 per cent to close at 18,203 the S&P 500 was up 0.2 per cent to close at 2,144 and the NASDAQ went up 0.1% to 5,246.

European markets finished higher: London’s FTSE was up 0.3 per cent, Paris added 0.3 per cent and Frankfurt rose 0.1 per cent.

Asian markets closed mixed: the Nikkei gained 0.2 per cent, the Hang Seng lost 0.4 per cent, and the Shanghai Composite was flat.

The Australian share market closed higher yesterday: The ASX 200 closed 25 points up to finish at 5,435. On the futures market the SPI is up 9 points.


The Australian Dollar at 7:30AM was buying $US77.17 cents, 62.86 Pence, 79.82 Yen and 70.36 Euro cents.

Local economic news

The ABS will release data about jobs and unemployment for last month.

NAB will release its Business Confidence Survey for September quarter.

Company news

Business management consultancy, RXP Services Ltd (ASX:RXP), has announced that its underlying EBITDA rose 71% to $18.2 million in the 2016 financial year, and its Its net profit went up 31% to $10.6 million. The company’s total dividend for the last financial year was 3 cents per share, fully franked. As for outlook, the company is expecting to deliver at the top end of revenue growth guidance between 10 and 15%. Shares in RXP closed 9.2% higher at 95 cents.

The Federal Court has made orders approving a scheme of arrangement between property research company, Onthehouse Holdings Ltd (ASX:OTH), and its shareholders. Under this scheme, a consortium of investors comprising Macquarie Corporate Holdings Pty Ltd and 77 Victoria Street Venture Pty Ltd, will acquire all the company’s shares for 85 cents each. Shares in Onthehouse closed flat at 84.5 cents.


Four companies are going ex-dividend today:

Australian Vintage (ASX:AVG) will pay a dividend of 1.5 cents per share (fully franked)
Blackwall (ASX:BWF) will pay 1.8 cents per share (fully franked)
Beyond International (ASX:BYI) will pay 5 cents per share (10% franked)
McPherson’s (ASX:MCP) will pay 2 cents per share (fully franked).


Gold has gained $7.10 to $US1,270 an ounce.
Silver has gained 4 cents to $17.68.
Copper is steady at $2.10 a pound.
Oil is up $1.05 to US$51.67 per barrel.

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