ASX to climb as S&P500 market cap surges past US$20T

Market Reports

by David Chau

The Australian share market will open higher today thanks to positive leads from overseas.

US equities climbed to new record highs as the Dow Jones posted its 22nd record close since the US election in early November 2016.  The S&P 500 shot past a US$20 trillion market cap for the first time. Most sectors finished in the black with Financials and Mining shares leading the charge. Investors are feeling bullish at the prospect of US President Donald Trump’s upcoming announcement of a “phenomenal” tax plan in the next couple of weeks.

The Aussie stock market will also be lifted by higher copper and iron ore prices overnight – giving a boost to mining companies BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto.

Local economic news

The Australian Bureau of Statistics will release its lending finance figures for the month of December. This include housing, and business loans data.

NAB will release the results of its business conditions survey for the month of January 2017.

Markets

Wall Street finished higher this morning: The Dow Jones added 0.7 per cent to 20,412 points, the S&P 500 gained 0.5% at 2,328 and the NASDAQ was up 0.5 per cent at 5,764.

European markets also finished higher: London’s FTSE was up 0.3 per cent, Paris surged 1.2 per cent and Frankfurt gained 0.9 per cent.

Asian markets finished higher: Tokyo’s Nikkei advanced 0.4 per cent, while both Hong Kong’s Hang Seng and China’s Shanghai Composite were up 0.6%.

The Australian share market also finished higher yesterday: The S&P/ASX 200 Index was up 40 points to finish at 5,761. On the futures market the SPI is up 17 points.

Company news

Murray Goulburn Co-Operative Co Ltd (ASX:MGC) has a new CEO and Managing Director. Ari Mervis commenced his new role at the Australian dairy cooperative yesterday. At the close of trade yesterday, shares in Murray Goulburn finished 2.55% higher at just over $1.00.

Reporting season

Four companies will be reporting their results today. They are: Challenger Australia (ASX:CGF), Cochlear (ASX:COH), GPT Group (ASX:GPT) and Treasury Wine Estates (ASX:TWE).

Ex-dividends

Three companies are going ex-dividend today:

Class Ltd (ASX:CLW) will pay 1 cent, fully franked.
GUD Holdings (ASX:GUD) 21 cents, fully franked.
Sky Network (ASX:SKT) will pay 16.95 cents, unfranked.

Currencies

The Australian Dollar at 8:30AM was buying $US0.7645, 61.05 Pence Sterling, 86.94 Yen and 72.14 Euro cents.

Commodities

Gold has lost $9.20 to $US1,227 an ounce.
Silver has retreated 12 cents to $17.82 an ounce.
Oil was down $0.93 to $US53.40 a barrel.