Wall Street recovers: Aus shares to open flat

Market Reports

by Kathy Skantzos

Markets in the US recovered from yesterday’s losses, finishing slightly higher. The ASX is on a path to open flat after a positive end to the session yesterday.

The Dow and S&P 500 lifted to reach the best monthly performance in almost a year. This comes after the Federal Reserve did not adjust interest rates, even though Janet Yellen said inflation is likely to rise this year. Better-than-expected corporate earnings results helped lift the market out of the sharp downturn we saw yesterday. Shares in Boeing rose almost 5 per cent to reach a record for the company after reporting positive quarterly results.

Oil and gold are both trading higher and iron ore is sitting flat.

US economic news

The Federal Reserve kept interest rates unchanged at 1.25-1.5 per cent, in line with market expectations.

Private businesses in the US hired 234,000 workers in January, below 242,000 in December, but higher than the market expected.

Local economic news

CoreLogic’s home value index for January will be released, with prices expected to fall.

The manufacturing index for January will also be out, which fell the previous month.

Import and export prices for the December quarter will be out. Import prices dropped 1.6 per cent and export prices declined by 3 per cent for the quarter.

Building approval figures for December will be out, which unexpectedly rose nearly 12 per cent in November.

Figures

Wall Street closed higher yesterday: The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.3 per cent to close at 26,149, the S&P 500 added 0.1 per cent to close at 2,824 and the NASDAQ increased 0.1 per cent to close at 7,411.

European markets closed mixed: London’s FTSE dropped 0.7 per cent, Paris gained 0.2 per cent and Frankfurt lost 0.1 per cent.

Asian markets closed mixed: Tokyo’s Nikkei lost 0.8 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng added 0.9 per cent, and China’s Shanghai Composite dropped 0.2 per cent.

The Australian share market closed higher yesterday: The S&P/ASX 200 Index closed 15 points higher to finish at 6,038.

On the futures market the SPI is 3 points down.

Company news

Gold mining company AngloGold Ashanti (ASX:AGG) has announced its full year gold production has increased to 3.75 million ounces compared to 3.6 million ounces in the previous year. The second half of 2017 saw a 15 per cent increase in output compared to the first half of the year. The company says capital expenditure for the year remains within the market guidance. Shares in AngloGold Ashanti (ASX:AGG) closed 4.2 per cent lower at $2.74.

Software company Gentrack Group (ASX:GTK) has announced its Chief Financial Officer has resigned. David Ingram’s resignation will be effective from 30 April 2018. The company says the replacement for the position will be announced shortly. Shares in Gentrack Group (ASX:GTK) closed 1.6 per cent lower at $5.55.

Currencies

One Australian Dollar at 8:50AM was buying 80.56 US cents, 56.80 Pence Sterling, 87.99 Yen and 64.92 Euro cents.

Commodities

Gold has gained $8.30 to $US1,348 an ounce.
Silver has gained $0.25 to $US17.30 an ounce.
Oil has gained $0.32 to $US64.82 a barrel.

Cryptocurrencies

Bitcoin has fallen 1.79 per cent to $10,107.
Ethereum gained about 1.67 per cent to $1,106.
Tether has gained about 0.42 per cent to $0.99.