The US markets finished the trading session off in positive territory. The Dow closed above 25,000 points for the first time, following better-than-expected job data with 250,000 new jobs added to the private sector. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq also hit record highs. General Electric shares finished higher after better-than-expected car sales.
In commodities, oil, gold and iron ore are all tracking higher.
US economic news
Car sales decreased in the US in December. The figures exceeded expectations, lifting the share price of General Motors, Ford and Fiat Chrysler. Weaker car sales are expected for 2018. Total vehicle sales, which includes trucks, increased.
The US Redbook index increased by 5 per cent to finish off the year compared to the same time the previous year, indicating an increase in consumer confidence
Business confidence rose in December to 59.7, the highest reading in 3 months. While job creation slowed, production and new orders increased.
A quarter of a million workers were hired in December 2017, above 185,000 in November and beating market expectations of 190,000. This is the highest reading since March.
Local economic news
Australia’s trade figures for November will be out today. Goods and services sales declined 3 per cent in October and imports climbed 2 per cent in October.
New vehicle sales figures for December will also be out.
Wall Street closed in positive territory yesterday: The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.6 per cent to close at 25,075, the S&P 500 added 0.4 per cent to close at 2,724 and the NASDAQ gained 0.2 per cent to close at 7,078.
European markets closed higher: London’s FTSE gained 0.3 per cent, Paris saw a 1.6 per cent increase and Frankfurt is up 1.5 per cent.
Asian markets closed in the green: Tokyo’s Nikkei surged 3.3 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng increased 0.6 per cent, and China’s Shanghai Composite gained 0.5 per cent.
And back home, the Australian share market closed higher yesterday: The S&P/ASX 200 Index closed 7 points up to finish at 6,077.
On the futures market the SPI is 42 points up.
Minerals company Syrah Resources (ASX:SYR) announced it has recently signed a number of sales agreements and has also hired a new manager in its marketing team. Chief Commercial Officer Rob Schaefer said the company is pleased to announce new sales contracts which provide further diversification across geography and end user markets, in line with its sales and marketing strategy. The company has also appointed a new General Manager of Marketing to start in the first quarter of 2018, based in Dubai. Shares in Syrah Resources (ASX:SYR) closed 0.6 per cent lower to $4.70.
One company is going ex-dividend today. Aberdeen Leaders (ASX:ALR) is paying 1 cent fully franked.
One Australian Dollar at 8:30AM was buying 78.66 US cents, 58.05 Pence Sterling, 88.67 Yen and 65.19 Euro cents.
Gold has gained $5.90 to $US1,324 an ounce.
Silver has gained $0.01 to $US17.27 an ounce.
Oil has gained $0.28 to $US61.91 a barrel.
Bitcoin has fallen 0.1 per cent in the last 24 hours to $15,069.
Ethereum gained gained about 4 per cent to $976.
Litecoin has fallen about 5.2 per cent to $233.