Wall Street closes in the red: Aus shares to open lower

Market Reports

by Kathy Skantzos

After Wall Street closed in the red on Friday, the Australian share market looks set to open lower this morning.

The Dow posted its first 2-week losing streak since August, losing 100 points by close. Info technology was a worse-performing sector, with shares in Amazon, Netflix and Alphabet all declining.

Investors continue to be concerned about the tax reform bill expected for the end of the year, which has dropped the US dollar.

On the commodities front, oil is tracking higher as OPEC members are discussing deals with other allied crude exporters and plan to meet with non-OPEC producers later this month. Gold is also seeing a positive spike, while iron ore is tracking lower.

Local economic news

Weekly consumer confidence index will be out on Tueday.

The lending index figures will be out mid-week, which increased 0.1 per cent month on month in September, and is expected to remain steady.

Total construction work completed in Australia will be out for the September quarter, which jumped 9.3 per cent the previous quarter, and is expected to drop by about 2 per cent.

On Thursday, the HIA will release new home sales figures, which declined month on month by 6 per cent in September, after a 9 per cent rise in August.

Private sector credit will be out, which rose 0.3 per cent month on month in September, the weakest rise since February.

Building approvals will also be announced, which increased by 1.5 per cent month on month in September.

On Friday, the Manufacturing Index will be out, which previously fell 3 points in October after production fell.

Figures

Wall Street closed lower on Friday: The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 0.4 per cent to close at 23,358, the S&P 500 lost 0.3 per cent to close at 2,579 and the NASDAQ lost 0.15 per cent to close at 6,783.

European markets closed lower: London’s FTSE dropped 0.1 per cent, Paris lost 0.3 per cent and Frankfurt dropped 0.4 per cent.

Asian markets closed mixed: Tokyo’s Nikkei added 0.2 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 0.6 per cent, and China’s Shanghai Composite lost 0.5 per cent.

And back home, the Australian share market closed higher at the close of the week: The S&P/ASX 200 Index closed 14 points up to finish at 5,957, losing 72 over the week.

On the futures market the SPI is 4 points down.

Company news

Lucapa Diamond Company (ASX:LOM) and its partners have completed the sale of more than 4000 carats of Lulo diamonds which totalled $9.6 million. The average price per carat was $2,300. This is the diamond company’s eighth sale for this year. Shares in Lucapa Diamond Company (ASX:LOM) closed 1.92 per cent higher to $0.27.

Ex-dividends

2 companies are going ex-dividend today:

AusNet Services (ASX:AST) is paying 4.63 cents unfranked and Elders (ASX:ELD) is paying 15 cents fully franked.

Currencies

One Australian Dollar at 8:40AM was buying 75.73 US cents, 57.30 Pence Sterling, 84.94 Yen and 64.26 Euro cents.

Commodities

Gold has gained $18.30 to $US1,297 an ounce.
Silver has gained $0.30 to $US17.37 an ounce.
Oil has gained $1.36 to $US56.71 a barrel.