Good start to the year: Aus shares to open higher

Market Reports

by Kathy Skantzos

It’s been a good start to the year, with the markets finishing in positive territory in the US. The Dow and Nasdaq closed 100 points up and the S&P 500 and Nasdaq both finished on record highs for the first trading day of the year. The Nasdaq jumped 1.5 per cent, closing above 7,000 points. Consumer discretionaries, energy and technology all rose more than a per cent and Disney shares climbed 4 per cent. The market was boosted by last year’s strong corporate earnings, economic growth and the passing of a tax bill which lowered corporate taxes.

The US dollar however has fallen to a 3-month low on the first day of the year. Gold is up, oil is flat and iron ore is less than a per cent higher.

US economic news

Markit Economics reported that the manufacturing index in the US increased to 55 points in December. This was the fastest expansion in factory activity since March 2015, and job creation was the strongest since September 2014.


Wall Street closed higher yesterday: The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.4 per cent to close at 24.824, the S&P 500 added 0.8 per cent to close at 2,696 and the NASDAQ finished 1.5 per cent higher to close at 7,007.

European markets closed lower: London’s FTSE finished 0.5 per cent lower, Paris lost 0.5 per cent and Frankfurt dropped 0.4 per cent.

Asian markets closed mixed: Tokyo’s Nikkei dropped 0.1 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 2 per cent, and China’s Shanghai Composite is 1.2 higher.

The Australian share market closed lower yesterday: The S&P/ASX 200 Index closed 4 points down to finish at 6,061.

The futures is 8 points higher.

Company news

Payment company Pushpay (ASX:PPH) has achieved its annualised committed monthly revenue (ACMR) of US$100 million, which has been brought forward from 31 March 2018 to 31 December 2017. Its quarterly operational update is expected to be released on 10 January 2018, with further details of the ACMR released then. Pushpay’s CEO Chris Heaslip said achieving US$100 million within 27 months after reaching US$10 million ACMR is a significant milestone for the business. The company said it’s on track to reach its FY2018 revenue guidance of US$70 million. Shares in Pushpay (ASX:PPH) closed 0.5 per cent higher to $3.80 on Tuesday. 


One company is going ex-dividend today: Clime Capital (ASX:CAM) is paying 1.25 cents fully franked.


One Australian Dollar at 8:30AM was buying 78.32 US cents, 57.62 Pence Sterling, 87.93 Yen and 64.96 Euro cents.


Gold has gained $9.90 to $US1,319 an ounce.
Silver has gained $0.08 to $US17.22 an ounce.
Oil has lost $0.05 to $US60.37 a barrel.


Bitcoin is 8.5  per cent higher to $14,898.
Ethereum is 15 per cent higher  to $893.
Litecoin is 10 per cent higher to $255.