Record highs: Aus shares to open in positive territory

Market Reports

by Kathy Skantzos

Wall Street closed the trading week in positive territory, with the major indicies finishing at record highs. The Dow jumped more than 140 points, and the S&P 500 and Nasdaq also finished higher, with financials, staples, health care and technology all rising more than a per cent. This comes as the tax bill becomes a closer reality, with a vote on the bill expected this week. If it passes, corporate taxes are likely to be cut, a positive sign for investors.

On the commodities front, oil is half a per cent higher, gold is sitting relatively stable, and iron ore has advanced a promising 6 per cent. The Australian market is set for a positive day of trade today, with the mining sector likely to take a boost.

Local economic news

On Monday, we’ll see new motor vehicle sales for November, which did not change much in October.

The Department of Finance will release mid-year economic and fiscal outlook results.

On Wednesday, we’ll have the lending economic index for November, which edged up 0.1 per cent in October.

Commonwealth Bank will release business sales indicator figures. Previous results showed spending continues to grow modestly.

We’ll also see financial and wealth figures for the September quarter.

On Friday, the HIA will release new homes sales figures, which rose 1.6 per cent previously.

Private sector credit figures for November will also be out, which rose 0.4 per cent in October, as the market expected.

Figures

Wall Street closed higher at the end of the week: The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.6 per cent to close at 24,652, the S&P 500 added 0.9 per cent to close at 2,676 and the NASDAQ gained 1.2 per cent to close at 6,937.

European markets closed mixed: London’s FTSE gained 0.6 per cent, Paris dropped 0.15 per cent and Frankfurt gained 0.3 per cent.

Asian markets closed lower: Tokyo’s Nikkei dropped 0.6 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng dropped 1.1 per cent, and China’s Shanghai Composite fell 0.8 per cent.

And back home, the Australian share market closed lower on Friday: The S&P/ASX 200 Index closed 14 points down to finish at 5,997, gaining 3 points over the week.

On the futures market the SPI is 29 points up.

Company news

Domain (ASX:DHG), a former Fairfax Media company that listed in November, has appointed Catriona McGregor as Group General Counsel and Company Secretary. She has come from Fairfax Media in the role of Senior Legal Counsel and has a background in corporate law. She has started the role already, which will provide in-house legal advice, governance and compliance to the company’s management team and board. Alethea Lee also continues as Company Secretary for Domain. Shares in Domain (ASX:DHG) closed 0.85 per cent higher to $3.55.

Business technology company Data#3 (ASX:DTL) announced it expects its FY2018 first half year profits to be lower than the previous year’s results, but expects a better second half performance. The company expects its full year FY2018 results to be in line with its expectations and more than FY2017’s result. There has been a delay in some projects partly due to supplier delivery constraints and customer delays, resulting in a below par profit performance. Shares in Data#3 (ASX:DTL) closed 0.5 per cent lower to $1.97.

Ex-dividends

One company is going ex-dividend today: Garda Diversified Property Fund (ASX:GDF) is paying 2.25 cents unfranked.

Currencies

One Australian Dollar at 8:10AM was buying 76.52 US cents, 57.47 Pence Sterling, 86.32 Yen and 65.15 Euro cents.

Commodities

Gold has gained $0.40 to $US1,258 an ounce.
Silver has gained $0.13 to $US16.06 an ounce.
Oil has gained $0.25 to $US57.33 a barrel.

Cryptocurrencies

Bitcoin has fallen 0.6 per cent in the last 24 hours to $19,252.
Ethereum gained 6 per cent to $731.
Litecoin gained 9.1 per cent to $323.