Solid earnings & looming tax cuts push Wall St higher: Aus shares to follow

Market Reports

by Jessica Amir

The local share market is expected to open higher after the three major US indices strongly advanced when the US Treasury Secretary announced major tax reforms will be revealed very soon.

The US gains were also fuelled by a fresh bout of quarterly results, with American Express reporting better than expected first-quarterly earnings.

The Dow Jones rose over 150 points, thanks to the push from the credit card giant, and also Goldman Sachs.

The S&P also rallied ahead with financials, industrials and materials leading. But, when it came to the tech heavy Nasdaq, it firmed a new record close.

Iron Ore, Copper, Zinc and other base metal prices also rebounded, which looks set to propel the miners today.

US Economic news 

The Conference Board’s US leading indicators index rose more than expected in March, with the index lifting 0.4% versus the 0.2% expected. It comes after the index climbed 0.5% in February, with new manufacturing orders bolstering the March result.

Markets 

Wall Street closed up on Thursday: The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.9 per cent to close at 20,579, the S&P 500 added 0.8 per cent to close at 2,356 and the NASDAQ gained 0.9 per cent to close at 5,917.

European markets closed higher: London’s FTSE gained 0.1 per cent, Paris added 1.5 per cent and Frankfurt lifted 0.1 per cent.

Asian markets closed mostly higher: Tokyo’s Nikkei closed flat, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rose almost 1 per cent, and China’s Shanghai Composite lifted 0.04 per cent.

And back home, the Australian share market closed higher on Thursday: At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 17 points up to finish at 5,821.

On the futures market the SPI is 30 points up.

Company news 

Stock broking and financial advisory firm, Bell Financial Group (ASX:BFG) has reported a strong start to the 2017 financial year, with $43 million in unaudited revenue in the first quarter. That represents a 16% increase from the prior corresponding period while the group’s profit before tax soared 113% also compared to the prior corresponding period. The bulk of the steam came from full service retail equities, which saw a 32% jump in revenue amid new advisers joining the firm and reasonable market conditions. Meantime, the company’s futures and foreign exchange and institutional capital market divisions saw a drop in revenue compared to the first quarter of 2016. Shares in Bell Financial Group (ASX:BFG) last traded 2.29% higher at $0.67

To ex-dividends 

One company is going ex-dividend today: Listed investment company, Century Australia Investments (ASX:CYA) is paying 2.70 cents fully franked.

Currencies

The Australian Dollar at 7:30AM was buying 75.28 US cents, 58.76 Pence Sterling, 82.29 Yen and 70.25 Euro cents.

Commodities

Gold has gained $2.40 to $US1,284 an ounce.
Silver has fallen 15 cents to $18.01.
Oil has lost 28 cents to $US50.73 a barrel.
 

Jessica Amir

Finance News Network
Jessica is a senior finance journalist and presents the Market Outlook, Market at Midday and Market Wrap. She also presents ASX company news and interviews CEOs. She joined FNN in January 2017 with six years of broadcast journalism experience. She worked as a journalist and producer with Sky News Business, ABC 1, ABC's The Business and ABC24. She also worked in regional Australia for Prime 7 and WIN News as a TV reporter. In her prior life she worked as a financial planner.