The Australian share market looks set to nudge just slightly higher at the open, with the futures index pointing to a 6 point gain. The sluggish start for the week comes as Wall Street closed mostly in the red on Friday.
The Dow Jones and the S&P were dragged lower after Investors received disappointing US retail sales numbers, while J.C Penney’s shares dropped 14 per cent amid its mixed quarterly results.
J.C Penney’s saw a fall in same-store sales, more than expected. It was just one of several retailers last week, whose stocks tanked, with the likes of Macy’s and Nordstrom’s also slipping after weaker than expected quarterly results.
The tech heavy Nasdaq however rose just over 5 points on Friday, while Gold, Silver and Oil all firmed higher.
US economic news
Consumer prices rebounded in April rising 0.2 per cent in the month, on par with estimates, following a 0.3 per cent drop in March (which was the biggest fall in over two years). The rise was fueled by a 1.1 per cent rise in energy prices, after they tumbled 3.2 per cent in the previous month.
US retail sales rose by 0.4 per cent in April versus the 0.6 per cent hike expected. Auto sales, hardware and e-commerce outlet sales led, while department store sales dropped. The disappointing result was however an uptick following March’s soft rise of 0.1 per cent, and February’s fall.
Local economic news
Today, we will receive the Housing finance numbers for March, with expectations new loans may have lifted by 2.5 per cent.
On Tuesday the Reserve Bank will release its recent Board minutes. Some economists say the minutes will have a similar upbeat tone, to the last Statement of Monetary Policy, where the RBA upgraded their near-term growth forecasts.
Also on Tuesday, we will also learn about the new vehicles sales for April.
Come Wednesday, the ABS will report the lending finance figures for March, which includes housing, personal, commercial and lease loans.
The ABS will also report the Wage Price Index for the March quarter. Wages grew by 1.9 per cent over the year to December, while growth for the March quarter is tipped to be 0.5 per cent.
Finally on Thursday the ABS will release the all important unemployment and employment data for April. A flat result is tipped as slightly less people were looking for work. CommSec expects the jobless rate may have eased from 5.9% to 5.8%.
Wall Street closed mixed on Friday: The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.1 per cent to close at 20,897, the S&P 500 lost 0.2 per cent to close at 2,391 and the NASDAQ gained 0.1 per cent to close at 6,121.
European markets closed higher: London’s FTSE gained 0.7 per cent, Paris added 0.4 per cent and Frankfurt lifted 0.5 per cent.
Asian markets closed mixed: Tokyo’s Nikkei fell 0.4 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 0.1 per cent, and China’s Shanghai Composite lifted 0.7 per cent.
And back home, the Australian share market closed lower on Friday: The S&P/ASX 200 Index closed 41 points or 0.7 per cent lower to finish at 5,837. On the futures market the SPI is 6 points up.
N1 Holdings Limited (ASX:N1H) is expecting to buy a rent roll with 30 properties under management. The financial and property service company says it will fund the acquisition with a small capital raise of $550,000. The company’s N1 Migration also announced it achieved a revenue milestone of $385,000 [$384,575] in contract sign ups and $276,000 [$276,389] in receivables this financial year. Shares in N1 Holdings Limited (ASX:N1H) last traded flat at 17.5 cents.
One company is going ex-dividend today: United Overseas Australia (ASX:UOS) is paying 2.5 cents un franked.
The Australian Dollar at 7:00AM was buying 73.95 US cents, 57.38 Pence Sterling, 83.70 Yen and 67.64 Euro cents.
Gold has gained $2.40 to $US1,228 an ounce.
Silver has added 20 cents to $US16.46 an ounce.
And Oil has lifted 1 cent to $US48.14 a barrel.