All eyes on French election: Aus shares set to open flat

Market Reports

by Jessica Ellerm

Following negative leads from from US markets, the Australian share market looks set to open flat this morning. All major US indexes finished in the red on Friday, as investors weighed up the uncertainty surrounding the French election, a drop in oil prices and further broad comments from the Trump administration regarding tax reform.

US economic news

Data released late last week showed US existing home sales surged in March, climbing 4.4 percent month on month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.71 million units. Manufacturing activity is on the decline however, with the Markit PMI dropping to 52.8 read for April, according to the latest flash data.



Markets

Wall Street closed lower on Friday: The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 0.15 per cent to close at 20,548, the S&P 500 dropped 0.3 per cent to close at 2,349 and the NASDAQ fell 0.11 per cent to close at 5,911.

European markets closed mixed: London’s FTSE slipped 0.1 per cent, Paris dropped 0.4 per cent and Frankfurt gained 0.2 per cent.

Asian markets closed mixed: Tokyo’s Nikkei added 1.03 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 0.1 per cent, and China’s Shanghai Composite closed flat.

The Australian share market closed higher on Friday: The S&P/ASX 200 Index closed 33 points up to finish at 5,854. On the futures market the SPI is 0.

Company news

The board of Baby Bunting Group Limited (ASX:BBN) has announced Stephen Roche will join as a Non-executive director effective 1 May 2017.
Mr Roche held the role of Managing Director and CEO of Australian Pharmaceutical Industries between August 2006 and February of this year. During his tenure he oversaw the expansion of the group’s Priceline Pharmacy network to over 400 stores with annualised retail turnover of more than $2 billion. Baby Bunting shares last traded 2.66% lower at $1.83.

Ex-dividends

2 companies are going ex-dividend today: Class Limited (ASX:CL1) will pay 1 cent fully franked, while Ridley Corporation (ASX:RIC) will pay 1.5 cents, also fully franked.

Currencies

The Australian Dollar at 7:30AM was buying $US75.70 cents, 58.98 Pence Sterling, 83.42 Yen and 69.53 Euro cents.

Commodities

Gold has gained $2.60 to $US1,286 an ounce for the June contract on Comex.
Silver has fallen $0.10 to $18.00 for May contract on Comex.
Oil has lost $1.09 to $US49.63 a barrel for May light crude in New York.
 

Jessica Ellerm

Finance News Network
Jessica joined FNN in April 2016 and presents the Australian Share Market Outlook, and reports on the morning's leading business stories. Alongside FNN Jessica is a fintech industry commentator, writing for her own blog and a number of international online publications.