Following negative leads from US markets, the Australian share market looks set to open lower this morning. US markets finished Wednesday trade relatively unchanged, with most bourses in flat territory. The big news of the day was Congress approving a bill that will trigger huge cuts to corporate taxes. However given the markets relatively lukewarm response, many analysts suspect expected gains from tax reform have already been priced into the market. On the commodities front, both oil and gold hit a two week high on Wednesday.
US economic news
Existing home sales in the US jumped 5.6 per cent in November, to a seasonally adjusted rate of 5.81 million. It was the highest level in nearly 11 years, signaling real momentum for the sector.
Wall Street closed lower yesterday: The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 0.11 per cent to close at 24,727 the S&P 500 fell 0.08 per cent to close at 2,679 and the NASDAQ dropped 0.04 per cent to close at 6,961.
European markets closed lower: London’s FTSE fell 0.25 per cent, Paris lost 0.56 per cent and Frankfurt tumbled 1.11 per cent.
Asian markets closed mixed: Tokyo’s Nikkei added 0.1 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng dropped 0.07 per cent, and China’s Shanghai Composite slipped 0.27 per cent.
The Australian share market closed higher yesterday: The S&P/ASX 200 Index closed 4 points up to finish at 6,076.
On the futures market the SPI is 22 points down.
ANZ Banking Group (ASX:ANZ) has announced that the New Zealand Overseas Investment Office has declined Chinese company HNA Group’s application to acquire UDC Finance. ANZ Bank Group Executive and New Zealand CEO David Hisco indicated he did not know if HNA will attempt to overturn the decision. Shares in ANZ Bank Group (ASX:ANZ) last traded 0.14 per cent higher at $29.06.
Contact Energy Limited (ASX:CEN) has announced the sale of its Ahuroa Gas Storage facility to Gas Services New Zealand for NZ$200 million. The energy company has indicated they will retain the rights to use the facility ongoing. The proceeds of the sale will be put towards repaying debt. Shares in Contact Energy Limited (ASX:CEN) last traded 1.92 per cent lower at $5.11.
One Australian Dollar at 8:45AM was buying $US76.63 cents, 57.31 Pence Sterling, 86.92 Yen and 64.57 Euro cents.
Gold has gained $3.80 to $US1,269 an ounce.
Silver has gained $0.07 to $US16.23 an ounce.
Oil has gained $0.39 to $US58.08 a barrel.
Bitcoin has fallen 6 per cent in the last 24 hours to US$16,662
Ethereum has slipped 0.38 per cent to US$817
And Litecoin has dropped around 8.69 per cent to US$317