Money has gone back in to the markets after yesterday’s falls, with the major markets on Wall Street finishing in the green. Our futures index is also indicating that we’re in for a positive start this morning.
The Dow increased 205 points to close at a record, with Boeing the biggest contributor. The Nasdaq also finished at a record high, with Apple shares increasing. The S&P 500 also finished at an all-time high, boosted by the energy sector following a rise in the oil price. Delta Airlines and homebuilder KB Home posted better-than-expected quarterly results. We can expect results from BlackRock, JP Morgan and Wells Fargo today.
In commodities, oil is flat, gold is higher and iron ore is lower.
US economic news
The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits increased by 9,000 to 261,000 in the first week of 2018. This is above market expectations of 246,000, and the highest reading since September 2017. Harsh winter weather conditions have likely contributed to the higher reading.
Local economic news
The ABS will release credit and debt lending figures for November. The total value of housing finance fell 0.1 per cent in October compared to September, and the seasonally adjusted figure was flat. Total personal finance commitments rose 1.3 per cent to a seasonally adjusted figure of a 1.6 per cent rise.
Wall Street closed in positive territory yesterday: The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.8 per cent to close at 25,575, the S&P 500 added 0.7 per cent to close at 12,768 and the NASDAQ increased 0.8 per cent to close at 7,212.
European markets closed mixed: London’s FTSE gained 0.2 per cent, while Paris lost 0.3 per cent and Frankfurt dropped 0.6 per cent.
Asian markets closed mixed: Tokyo’s Nikkei dropped 0.3 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 0.2 per cent, and China’s Shanghai Composite lifted 0.1 per cent.
And back home, the Australian share market closed lower yesterday: The S&P/ASX 200 Index closed 29 points down to finish at 6,068.
On the futures market the SPI is 17 points higher.
Real estate investment trust Charter Hall REIT’s (ASX:CQR) Moody’s rating has moved from negative to stable. The company said the changed outlook reflects the timing of ongoing transactiosn associated with the REIT’s capital recycling program, with is progressing as planned. The REIT added that a further update on the capital recycling program will be provided at the December half year results in February 2018. Shares in Charter Hall REIT (ASX:CQR) closed 0.74 per cent lower yesterday at $4.02.
Supplier of construction materials and transport services Wagners (ASX:WGN) has confirmed it has entered into confidential contract negotiations with Indian company Adani for the potential future construction of a private airstrip for fly-in, fly-out workers for the Charmichael coal mine. Wagners said it could not comment on any discussions or agreements between Adani and local councils interested in funding construction of the airport due to confidentiality. Shares in Wagners (ASX:WGN) closed 2.66 per cent higher yesterday at $3.86.
One Australian Dollar at 8:30AM was buying 78.90 US cents, 58.30 Pence Sterling, 87.77 Yen and 65.58 Euro cents.
Gold has gained $3.50 to $US1,323 an ounce.
Silver has lost $0.04 to $US17 an ounce.
Oil has gained $0.06 to $US63.48 a barrel.
Bitcoin has fallen 7.3 per cent in the last 24 hours to US$13,528.
Ethereum has lost 9.2 per cent to $1,186.
And Litecoin has fallen 6.7 per cent to $231.