Markets close lower: Aus shares to open flat | Finance News Network

Markets close lower: Aus shares to open flat

Market Reports

by Kathy Skantzos

Wall Street closed yesterday’s session in the red, and Australia’s futures are sitting flat, pointing towards a slow day of trade this Friday. Healthcare and materials were the worst performing sectors in the US. There are some lingering concerns about the anticipated tax bill in the US, which is concerning investors. In corporate news, Disney said it will pay $52.4 billion in stock to buy Fox’s movie studios among other assets. Fox and Disney shares shot up as a result.

On the commodities front, oil is one per cent higher and gold is half a per cent higher. Iron ore is sitting flat.

US economic news

The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits decreased by 11,000 to 225,000 as of last week, the fourth straight week of declines, and below market expectations of 239,000.

Retail sales increased 0.8 per cent in November as shoppers spend in the holiday season, beating market expectations of 0.3 per cent.

Figures

Wall Street closed lower yesterday: The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 0.3 per cent to close at 24,509, the S&P 500 lost 0.4 per cent to close at 2,652 and the NASDAQ lost 0.3 per cent to close at 6,857.

European markets closed lower: London’s FTSE dropped 0.7 per cent, Paris lost 0.8 per cent and Frankfurt dropped 0.4 per cent.

Asian markets closed lower: Tokyo’s Nikkei dropped 0.3 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng dropped 0.2 per cent, and China’s Shanghai Composite dropped 0.3 per cent.

And back home, the Australian share market closed lower yesterday: The S&P/ASX 200 Index closed 10 points down to finish at 6,011.

On the futures market the SPI is 3 points down.

Company news

Natural beauty products company Trilogy International (ASX:TIL) has entered into a scheme implementation agreement with global asset manager CITIC Capital, where its China Partners subsidiary will acquire all outstanding shares in Trilogy. The shares would be acquired for NZ$2.90 per share. The agreement is conditional on the approval of Trilogy’s shareholders, the High Court, as well as other regulatory approvals. A shareholder meeting to discuss the scheme is expected to be held in March next year. Shares in Trilogy International (ASX:TIL) closed 1.18 per cent higher to $2.14.

Health, wellness and beauty product supplier McPherson’s (ASX:MCP) has divested its home appliances business to electrical heating business Glen Dimplex Australia. The transaction consideration is estimated to be approximately $28 million. The decision is part of the company’s strategy to exit non-core operations to focus on and grow its core business in health, wellness and beauty markets, as well as supporting its balance sheets. Funds from the transaction will be used to buy back an outstanding $25 million in bonds. Shares in McPherson’s (ASX:MCP) closed 2.34 per cent lower to $1.04.

Currencies

One Australian Dollar at 8:40AM was buying 76.68 US cents, 57.10 Pence Sterling, 86.14 Yen and 65.12 Euro cents.

Cryptocurrencies

Bitcoin has fallen one per cent in the last 24 hours to $16,426.
Ethereum lost about one per cent to $684.
Litecoin has lost about 8.5 per cent to $278.

Commodities

Gold has lost $1.50 to $US1,255 an ounce.
Silver has gained $0.06 to $US15.93 an ounce.
Oil has gained $0.46 to $US57.22 a barrel.