Worst Wall Street close for 2017: ASX to tumble at open

Market Reports

by Jessica Amir

The Australian share market is set tumble at the open after the Dow Jones shed 370 points when investors went into a sell off frenzy, following the latest allegations about President Donald Trump.

Sources in the US say, former FBI Director, James Comey, wrote a memo saying President Trump asked him to drop an investigation upon former National Security Adviser, Michael Flynn.

Wall Street felt a massive blow, with its worst trading day since September last year. The S&P 500 shed 1.8 per cent with financials leading the decline, plunging 3.1 per cent.

The tech heavy Nasdaq closed at its lowest level since June last year, diving 2.6 per cent.

On the back of the uncertainty, Spot Gold however soared 1.86%, to its highest level in two weeks.

Oil has settled higher after its 6th straight drop in US crude supplies.

Local economic news due out today

The ABS will release the unemployment and employment data for April this morning. A flat result is tipped, as slightly less people were looking for work in the month. CommSec say the jobless rate may have eased from 5.9% to 5.8%. Meantime, the consensus is the unemployment rate will remain at 5.9%.

Markets

Wall Street closed lower on Wednesday: The Dow Jones Industrial Average tumbled 1.8 per cent to close at 20,607, the S&P 500 fell 1.8 per cent to close at 2,357 and the NASDAQ plummeted 2.6 per cent to close at 6,011.

European markets closed lower: London’s FTSE fell 0.3 per cent, Paris lost 1.6 per cent and Frankfurt fell 1.4 per cent.

Asian markets also closed lower: Tokyo’s Nikkei fell 0.5 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng lost 0.2 per cent, and China’s Shanghai Composite shed 0.3 per cent.

And back home, the Australian share market closed lower yesterday. The S&P/ASX 200 Index closed 65 points lower or 1.1% lower to 5,786. On the futures market the SPI is 59 points lower.

Company news

Machine learning and artificial intelligence company, Appen Limited (ASX:APX) has increased its full year 2017 earnings guidance to be 40% to 50% above its prior year’s EBITDA result. The increased forecast comes on the back of accelerated demand for Appen’s data, for its machine-learning based product development. Appen says that has translated into higher orders, a sharp rise in monthly revenues and better overall margins, largely from new projects. Shares in Appen Limited (ASX:APX) last traded 0.77% lower to $2.58.

Ex-dividends

Four companies are going ex-dividend today:

Asian Masters Fund (ASX:AUF) is paying 5 cents fully franked,
Eclipx Group Limited (ASX:ECX) is paying 7.5 cents fully franked,
Sandon Capital Limited (ASX:SNC) is paying 3.5 cents fully franked and
Westpac Banking Corp (ASX:WBC) is paying 94 cents fully franked.

Currencies

The Australian Dollar at 7:30AM was buying 74.34 US cents, 57.32 Pence Sterling, 82.32 Yen and 66.62 Euro cents.

Commodities

Gold has soared $24.00 to $US1,261 an ounce.
Silver has gained 14 cents to $US16.89 an ounce.
And Oil has gained 62 cents to $US49.28 a barrel.
 

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