Despite broadly positive leads from US markets, futures are pointing to the Australian share market opening lower this morning, in what will be the final session for 2017. Corporate tax cuts and positive economic data on the employment, manufacturing and housing front has extended Wall Street’s rally over the past three months, pushing all indexes higher. Overnight the Dow set a record close, with many expecting the positive sentiment to carry through into the new year.
On the commodities front, oil is flirting with the $60 mark while gold has hit a one month high.
US economic news
The advance goods trade deficit was up slightly in November to $69.7 billion, from $68.1 billion in October. Weekly jobless claims were unchanged from the previous week, at 245,000. The Chicago Purchasing Managers Index hit closed the year out at 67.6, the highest read since March 2011.
Today HIA will release new home sales figures for November and the RBA will issue private sector credit data for November also.
Wall Street closed up yesterday: The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.26 per cent to close at 24,838, the S&P 500 added 0.18 per cent to close at 2,688 and the NASDAQ rose 0.16 per cent to close at 6,950.
European markets closed mixed: London’s FTSE surged 2.2 per cent, Paris fell 0.55 per cent and Frankfurt slipped 0.69 per cent.
Asian markets closed up/ lower /mixed: Tokyo’s Nikkei fell 0.56 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng added 0.9 per cent, and China’s Shanghai Composite lifted 0.63 per cent.
And back home, the Australian share market closed higher yesterday: The S&P/ASX 200 Index closed 18 points up to finish at 6,088.
On the futures market the SPI is 5 points down.
Austal Limited (ASX:ASB) has announced long-standing client SNC Aremiti has awarded the ship builder with a $30 million contract. Austal will design and build a new 49 metre high-speed passenger catamaran ferry for Aremeti, who are French Polynesia’s leading commercial ferry operator. Shares in Austal Limited (ASX:ASB) closed 1.09 per cent higher at $1.85.
Lithium Australia NL (ASX:LIT) has announced its spin-out graphite business BlackEarth Minerals NL has received conditional approval by the ASX for admission of its securities onto the exchange. On listing, Lithium Australia will hold a strategic position of 18.10 per cent of the graphite business, which will look to trade under the ticker BEM. Shares in Lithium Australia NL (ASX:LIT) closed 2.5 per cent higher at $0.205.
One company is going ex-dividend today: MCP Master Income Trust (ASX:MXT) will pay 2.19 unfranked.
One Australian Dollar at 8:30AM was buying $US77.94 cents, 58.00 Pence Sterling, 87.97 Yen and 65.29 Euro cents.
Gold has gained $5.80 to $US1,297 an ounce.
Silver has added $0.14 to $US16.89 an ounce.
Oil has gained $0.26 to $US59.90 a barrel.
Bitcoin has fallen 7.48 per cent in the last 24 hours to $14,274
Ethereum has dropped 4.04 per cent to $722
And Litecoin has lost about 10.39 per cent to $242