Following mixed leads, the Australian share market looks set to waver on the open, with futures slightly down. While the Dow closed at a record high and the S&P 500 continued its trend upwards in Thursday trading, the NASDAQ was hit by a selloff in so called FANG stocks - Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and Google. Among broader interest rate rise concerns, markets are still uncertain as to how a Trump administration and its stance on global trade will affect the outward looking tech industry.
US economic news
Jobless claims fell by 11,000 last week, coming in at 254,000. Claims are at their lowest level in 4 weeks and continue to beat market expectations.
Wall Street closed mixed yesterday: The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 1.2 per cent to close at 18,808, the S&P 500 added 0.2 per cent to close at 2,167 and the NASDAQ lost 0.8 per cent to close at 5,209.
European markets closed lower: London’s FTSE fell 1.2 per cent, Paris dropped 0.3 per cent and Frankfurt slipped 0.2 per cent.
Asian markets closed up: Tokyo’s Nikkei surged 6.7 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rose 1.9 per cent, and China’s Shanghai Composite added 1.4 per cent.
The Australian share market closed higher yesterday: The S&P/ASX 200 Index closed 172 points up to finish at 5,329. On the futures market the SPI is 4 points down.
The Australian Dollar at 8:10AM was buying $US76.02 cents, 60.61 Pence Sterling, 81.28 Yen and 69.85 Euro cents.
Infratil Limited (ASX:IFT) has released its half results, indicating a 2.8 percent drop in underlying earnings compared to the same period last year. The company has indicated full year earnings are now tracking at the lower end of previously announced guidance. An interim dividend of 5.75 cents per share has been announced, a 9.5 percent increase on the prior year. Shares in Infratil Limited closed steady yesterday at $2.80.
SKY Network Television Limited (ASX:SKT) has announced the decision date for its proposed merger with Vodafone New Zealand has been extended. The new date reflects the need for the New Zealand Commerce Commission to review new and cross submissions related to the deal. Sky have been advised a decision will be reached by Wednesday the 21 December. Shares in SKY Network Television Limited closed steady yesterday at $4.00
5 companies are going ex-dividend today: CSR Limited (ASX:CSR) will pay 13 cents unfranked, Kathmandu Holdings Limited (ASX:KMD) will pay 7.76 cents 84.99 percent franked and Waterco Limited (ASX:WAT) will pay 3 cents fully franked.
Gold has fallen $22.10 to $US1,257 an ounce for the December contract on Comex.
Silver has gained $0.15 to $18.53 for December.
Copper has fallen $0.01 to $2.54 a pound for December.
Oil has dropped $0.70 to $US45.36 a barrel for December light crude in New York.