Following negative leads from US markets, the Australian share market looks set to open lower. Apple was one of the culprits responsible for driving tech stocks lower on Tuesday, with the electronics giant falling 1 per cent following an analyst’s downgrade to neutral from buy. And on the tax front, despite House members voting to pass Trump’s tax bill on Tuesday, news this morning suggests an eleventh hour procedural snag will force members to vote on the measure again before it can get to the senate. The bill in question would cut the federal corporate tax rate to 21 percent from 35 percent, with republicans claiming it will spark business investment, hiring and wage growth.
US economic news
The Commerce Department has reported housing starts were up 3.3 per cent in November, to an annualized rate of 1.297 million. It is the highest since October 2016 and beat market expectations of a 3.2 per cent fall. Building permits fell 1.4 per cent to an annualized rate of 1.298 million. While single-family authorizations were up, multi-family home permits fell by 6.4 per cent, dragging the overall permit figures lower. The US Q3 current account deficit decreased to $100.6 billion, from $124.4 billion in Q2. It is the lowest level in 3 years, driven by an increase in US exports and primary income.
Due out to day is the Westpac-Melbourne Institute’s Leading Economic Index for November. The index is a reliable cyclical indicator for the Australian economy. In October it was up 0.1 per cent.
Wall Street closed lower yesterday: The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 0.15 per cent to close at 24,755, the S&P 500 fell 0.32 per cent to close at 2,681 and the NASDAQ dropped 0.44 per cent to close at 6,964.
European markets closed mixed: London’s FTSE rose 0.09 per cent, Paris fell 0.69 per cent and Frankfurt dropped 0.72 per cent.
Asian markets closed mixed: Tokyo’s Nikkei lost 0.15 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 0.7 per cent, and China’s Shanghai Composite rose 0.88 per cent.
The Australian share market closed higher yesterday: The S&P/ASX 200 Index closed 33 points up to finish at 6,072.
On the futures market the SPI is 22 points down.
Sydney Airport (ASX:SYD) has released its latest traffic performance figures this morning, with year on year growth up across both domestic and international routes. International passenger growth was the high point, with vistor numbers up 7.1 percent in November compared to this time last year. The result was driven by a strong seat capacity increase and a 1.7 per cent increase in load factors. In other news, Qantas has launched a new Sydney to Osaka Japan flight, adding 92,000 seats annually. China Airlines has also commenced a double daily flight from Taipei. This new product is expected to add 200,000 seats annually and generate $48 million in annual visitor expenditure for NSW. Shares in Sydney Airport (ASX:SYD) last traded 0.67 per cent higher at $7.48.
One Australian Dollar at 8:40AM was buying $US76.64 cents, 57.25 Pence Sterling, 86.51 Yen and 64.73 Euro cents.
Gold has lost $0.60 to $US1,265 an ounce.
Silver has lost $0.02 to $US16.18 an ounce.
Oil has gained $0.44 to $US57.66 a barrel.
Bitcoin has fallen 7.69 per cent in the last 24 hours to $17,413
Ethereum has gained about 1.57 per cent to $799
And Litecoin has fallen about 1.35 per cent to $338