Starting the week in the green: Aus shares to open higher | Finance News Network

Starting the week in the green: Aus shares to open higher

Market Reports

by Kathy Skantzos

Following strong leads from US markets, the Australian share market is set for a positive start to the week. The futures index is tracking higher and iron ore is strong this morning.

The Dow and S&P 500 closed at record highs. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported the US added more than 220,000 new jobs last month, more than expected, and recorded a low unemployment rate, which helped boost the markets. The Nasdaq also finished higher, with shares in Amazon, Netflix and Alphabet rising. The healthcare sector performed well along with technology.

On the commodities front, iron ore is up 2.6 per cent. Oil is up more than a per cent, and gold is lower.

Local economic news

On Monday, the HIA is expecting to release new homes sales for October, which declined 6 per cent in September.

On Tuesday we can expect the NAB business confidence index for November, which increased in October with a strong business sector. The house price index will be out, which rose 1.9 per cent in the last quarter, with expectations of another rise this quarter.

On Wednesday, we will see the consumer confidence figures for December, which was down in November.

On Thursday the Reserve Bank will release consumer inflation expectations for December, which decreased in November. The ABS will show employment figures for November, which is forecast to increase after a rise in October. The labour force participation rate will also be out which decreased in October, and we’ll see the unemployment rate which unexpectedly fell in October.

Figures

Wall Street finished the day of trade in the green: The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.5 per cent to close at 24,329, the S&P 500 added 0.6 per cent to close at 2,652 and the NASDAQ gained 0.4 per cent to close at 6,840.

On the back of Brexit agreements, European markets closed higher: London’s FTSE gained 1 per cent, Paris is up 0.3 per cent and Frankfurt gained 0.8 per cent.

Asian markets closed higher: Tokyo’s Nikkei added 1.4 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 1.2 per cent, and China’s Shanghai Composite increased 0.6 per cent.

And back home, the Australian share market finished the week higher: The S&P/ASX 200 Index closed 17 points up to finish at 5,994.

On the futures market the SPI is 23 points up.

Company news

Mining and exploration company Independence Group (ASX:IGO) has completed the sale of its Stockman Project to copper mining company CopperChem for $47 million. The divestment of the Victorian project comprises $32 million in cash and a 1.5 per cent smelter return royalty with a provisional value of $15 million. Shares in Independence Group (ASX:IGO) closed 1.24 per cent lower to $4.

Dental company 1300SMILES (ASX:ONT) announced it has acquired a dental practice in Ingham in Queensland, located close to the Victoria Sugar Mill, a major hub of Australia’s sugar industry, with settlement expected at the end of this month. The acquisition also includes the commercial property, with the intention to divest the property in the short to medium term. The dental company has acquired several practices in regional Queensland this year. Shares in 1300SMILES (ASX:ONT) closed 0.3 per cent higher to $6.75.

Ex-dividends

One company is going ex-dividend today: Contango Income Generator (ASX:CIE) is paying 1.6 cents, 50 per cent franked.

Currencies

One Australian Dollar at 7:55AM was buying 75.13 US cents, 56.16 Pence Sterling, 85.34 Yen and 63.86 Euro cents.

Commodities

Gold has lost $4.70 to $US1,248 an ounce.
Silver has gained $0.02 to $US15.82 an ounce.
Oil has gained $0.67 to $US57.36 a barrel.