US budget blueprint weighs down Wall Street: Aus shares to open lower

Market Reports

by Jessica Amir

The Australian share market is tipped to slide lower at the open, after US stocks closed mostly lower after health care and utilities lagged about 1% each. It appears investors are starting to rethink the US rate outlook, as there was a sell off on Wall Street. Also weighing down on gains was a slip in the Oil price overnight.

The worst performing sector in the US, on the S&P 500 was Utilities, followed by Health Care after President Donald Trump’s budget blueprint outlined a potential $5.8 billion cut to the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Tesla shares were higher before the market closed however, after the electric automaker announced an offering of $250 million in stock and $750 million in convertible notes. The proceeds will be used strengthen its balance sheet.

US economic news 

Home building of single-family homes has jumped to a near 9.5 year high.
Housing starts totalled 1.29 million in February, beating expectation of 1.26 million.
The rise follows housing starts falling to 1.25M in total for Jan

Markets

Wall Street closed lower this morning: The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 0.1 per cent to close at 20,935, the S&P 500 fell 0.2 per cent to close at 2,381 and the NASDAQ closed flat at 5,901.

European markets closed higher: London’s FTSE gained 0.6 per cent, Paris also added 0.6 per cent and Frankfurt also 0.6 per cent.

Asian markets closed up: Tokyo’s Nikkei added 0.1 per cent higher, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 2.1 per cent, and China’s Shanghai Composite rose 0.8 per cent.

Back home, the Australian share market closed higher on Thursday. At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 12 points up to finish at 5,786. On the futures market the SPI is 8 points lower.

Ex-dividends

Seven companies are going ex-dividend today, just to name a few, Retail Food Group (ASX:RFG) is paying 14.75 cents fully franked, Seven West Media Limited (ASX:SWM) is paying 2 cents fully franked and Xenith IP Group Limited (ASX:XIP) is paying 1.6 cents fully franked.



Currencies

The Australian Dollar at 7:30AM was buying 76.79 US cents, 62.16 Pence Sterling, 86.98 Yen and 71.32 Euro cents.

Commodities

Gold has gained $7.50 to $US1,226 an ounce.
Silver has risen 4 cents to US$17.35.
Oil has lost 33 cents to $US49.31 a barrel.
 

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