Flat Futures: Flat open ahead for ASX

Market Reports

by Jessica Ellerm

With futures flat the ASX looks set to open in a similar fashion this morning. US markets finished in positive territory on Friday, with all indexes ending the week at record highs. Friday saw the start of the largest shopping weekend of the year in the US, with Black Friday sales kicking off at major retailers. Early data suggests sales are up on prior years, with Macy’s reporting 1,000 more customers at the opening of sales at its flagship store in New York, compared to last year.

US Economic News

October saw a drop off in wholesale inventories, which fell 0.4 percent compared to the prior month. A lower reading is a sign of economic growth. The flash Markit Services PMI decreased in November to a read of 54.7. Despite the slight drop off on October’s read, it is the 9th consecutive month over 50, a marker generally associated with an expanding sector.

Markets

Wall Street finished up on Friday: The Dow Jones added 0.4% to close at 19,152, the S&P 500 rose 0.4 per cent at 2,213, and the NASDAQ gained 0.3 per cent to close at 5,399.

European markets closed higher: London’s FTSE rose 0.2 per cent, Paris gained 0.2 per cent and Frankfurt added 0.1 per cent.

Asian markets closed higher: Tokyo’s Nikkei lifted 0.3 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 0.5 per cent, and China’s Shanghai Composite rose 0.6.

The Australian share market closed higher on Friday: The S&P/ASX 200 Index finished 23 points up to close at 5,508. On the futures market the SPI is steady.

Currencies

The Australian Dollar at 7:20AM was buying $US74.52 cents, 59.74 Pence Sterling, 84.23 Yen and 70.23 Euro cents.

Company news

UGL Limited (ASX:UGL) has announced that along with its joint venture partner CPB Contractors it has signed a $127 million contract with Melbourne Water for the delivery of a Nutrient Removal Plant. The plant is expected to be complete at the end of 2018, with both UGL and CPB operating and maintaining the plant until the end of 2020. Shares in UGL Limited closed 0.16 percent up on Friday at $3.15.

Mount Gibson Iron Ore Limited (ASX:MGX) has announced it has entered into an offtake agreement with China-based Xinyu Iron and Steel Group. The Chinese buyer will purchase approximately one quarter of the first year’s available production from the company’s Iron Hill deposit. Shares in Mount Gibson Iron Ore Limited closed 1.47 percent up on Friday at $0.345.

Ex-Dividends
1 company is going ex-dividend today: Technology One Limited (ASX:TNE) will pay 7.09 cents fully franked.

Commodities

Gold has dropped $6.40 to $US1,181 an ounce for the December contract on Comex.
Silver has added $0.15 to $16.55 for December.
Copper has gained $0.01 to $2.68 a pound for December.
Oil has dropped $1.90 to $US46.06 a barrel for January light crude in New York.
 

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