Flat close from US: Aus shares to open lower

Market Reports

by Kathy Skantzos

Following weak leads from US markets, the Australian share market looks set to open flat this morning, with iron ore declining and futures tracking lower.

The US markets have closed in mainly negative territory, with the S&P 500 and Nasdaq both finishing in the red, however the Dow is 0.1 per cent higher. Retail has seen a positive turn with the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales leading up to the Christmas period, with online sales picking up and Amazon and Google tracking higher. The US dollar has recovered with the US tax plan making way. The likelihood of tax cuts is weakening, which has been weighing down the greenback.

On the commodities front, oil has declined nearly 2 per cent ahead of OPEC meetings this week and gold is tracking just below $1,300. Iron ore has dropped, setting the miners up for a slow start.

US economic news

New homes sales in the US unexpectedly rose 6.2 per cent to 685,000 in October, the highest level in 10 years, after the market was expecting a 6.3 per cent drop.

The manufacturing index in Texas declined to 19.4 in November from a near 10-year high of 27.6 in October, below market expectations of 24. There was solid expansion in Texas factory activity despite the slowdown.


Wall Street closed mixed yesterday: The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.1 per cent to close at 23,581, the S&P 500 dropped 0.04 per cent to close at 2,601 and the NASDAQ lost 0.15 per cent to close at 6,879.

European markets closed lower: London’s FTSE dropped 0.35 per cent, Paris lost 0.6 per cent and Frankfurt declined 0.5 per cent.

Asian markets closed lower: Tokyo’s Nikkei lost 0.2 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng dropped 0.6 per cent, and China’s Shanghai Composite declined 1 per cent.

And back home, the Australian share market closed higher yesterday: The S&P/ASX 200 Index closed 6 points up to finish at 5,989.

On the futures market the SPI is 10 points down.

Company news

Orion Health Group (ASX:OHE) announced a decrease in operating revenue to NZ$81 million and an increase in operating loss to NZ$25 million in its interim results for the first half of FY2018. As a result, the company has now revised its revenue guidance to $175-$190 million, and expects a breakeven revenue result in the second half of FY2018. The company said these results are due to a significant software licence deal in the first half of FY2017 which impacted the contribution margin due to the low cost of sales associated with the transaction. Shares Orion Health Group (ASX:OHE) last traded at 90 cents.


1 company is going ex-dividend today. Technology One (ASX:TNE) is paying 7.6 cents, 75 per cent franked.


One Australian Dollar at 9:00AM was buying 76.04US cents, 57.11 Pence Sterling, 84.49 Yen and 63.91 Euro cents.


Gold has gained $6.80 to $US1,299 an ounce.
Silver has gained $0.03 to $US17.12 an ounce.
Oil has lost $1.10 to $US57.85 a barrel.