Wall St steady despite Comey’s testimony: ASX tipped for flat start

Market Reports

by Jessica Amir

The Australian share market should experience a steady start, following Wall Street. The three major US indices closed in the green on Thursday, with the Dow Jones and S&P 500 finishing the session pretty much flat, following the former FBI Director’s testimony.

The Dow however touched an intraday record, rising 80 points immediately after James Comey’s statement before the Senate Intelligence committee. But, the index failed to maintain that steam and finished just 8 points higher. The S&P nearly hit a record high, before closing at break even, with bank stocks flexing their muscle, while utilities led the decliners.

Over in the UK, voters have cast their ballots, with the election polls suggesting Britain is heading for a hung parliament.

Meantime, Gold has lost ground, with the precious metal falling after the European Central Bank cut its inflation forecasts.

Local economic news

Late morning we can expect the ABS to announce the housing finance for April. Total dwelling loans, including owner occupied and investment, fell by 0.1 per cent in March. Commsec says in April, the value of all home loans may produce a flat result, but owner occupied home loans may have fallen by 2 per cent in the month.

Meantime, the ABS will also release the lending finance data for April, which includes personal, commercial and lease finance.

Markets

Wall Street closed higher on Thursday: The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.04 per cent to close at 21,183, the S&P 500 added 0.03 per cent to close at 2,434 and the NASDAQ advanced 0.4 per cent to close at 6,322.

European markets closed mixed: London’s FTSE lost 0.4 per cent, Paris fell 0.02 per cent and Frankfurt rose 0.3 per cent.

Asian markets also closed mixed: Tokyo’s Nikkei lost 0.4 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rose 0.3 per cent, and China’s Shanghai Composite also rose 0.3 per cent.

And back home, the Australian share market closed higher on Thursday: The S&P/ASX 200 Index closed 9 points higher or by 0.2 per cent to finish at 5,677. On the futures market the SPI is 5 points up.

Company news 

Redhill Education Limited (ASX:RDH) is expecting its EBITDA will grow by 240 per cent to $3.6 million, for the full 2017 financial year. The private tertiary education provider’s revenue, is also tipped to grow by 42 per cent, to $40.2 million for this financial year, compared to the prior corresponding period. The company says the improved results came from its brand growth and RedHill’s geographical expansion. Shares in Redhill Education Limited (ASX:RDH) last traded 3.17 per cent lower to $1.07.

To ex-dividends

One company is going ex-dividend today: Transmetro Corp Limited (ASX:TCO) is paying 5 cents fully franked.

Currencies

The Australian Dollar at 7:30AM was buying 75.33 US cents, 59.15 Pence Sterling, 82.79 Yen and 67.23 Euro cents.

Commodities

Gold has lost $12.90 to $US1,280 an ounce.
Silver has fallen 20 cents to $US17.43 an ounce.
And Oil has fallen 1 cent to $US45.71 a barrel.
 

Jessica Amir

Finance News Network
Jessica joined FNN in January 2017 after having worked in financial advising for seven years and in TV journalism for seven years, specialising in finance, equities and analysis. She has interviewed former Prime Ministers of Australia, Tony Abbott, Julia Gillard and Kevin Rudd and ex Treasurer Jo Hockey. Jessica has worked as a journalist with Sky News Business, ABC 1, ABC's The Business, ABC24 and has also been a regional Channel 7 and 9 TV reporter with Prime7 and Win News.