The Australian share market is in for a positive day after Wall Street etched its fourth day of gains, while commodities, such as iron ore and oil rallied with the crude oil price back above US$60.00.
As for US stocks, the heavy Nasdaq shone the most, after Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and Alphabet gained, While on the Dow, Goldman Sachs added the most gains up 2.8 per cent. All this came despite the bond yields jumping. And on the US economic news front, retail sales fell unexpected in January, with the biggest fall in 11 months. US retail sales fell 0.3 per cent according to the Commerce Department, while economists expected a climb of 0.2 per cent.
Taking all of that news and data under our belts, the ASX futures are pointing to a 55 points gain. But with a lot of companies reporting today that will ultimately affect the local bourse.
Yesterday the Australian share market closed lower S&P/ASX 200 Index closed 15 points lower or 0.25 per cent at 5,841.
And all eyes today will be on the employment and unemployment data out today with the unemployed rate expected to fall from 5.5 per cent to 5.4 per cent
Wall Street closed up yesterday: The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 1.03 per cent to close at 24,893, the S&P 500 added 1.3 per cent to close at 2,699 and the NASDAQ gained 1.9 per cent to close at 7144
European markets closed higher: London’s FTSE rose 0.6 per cent, Paris gained 1.1 per cent and Frankfurt closed 1.2 per cent higher.
Asian markets closed mixed: Tokyo’s Nikkei dropped 0.4 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 2.3 per cent, and China’s Shanghai Composite closed 0.5 per cent higher.
Telstra (ASX:TLS) reported its half-year net profit after tax fell 6 per cent to $1.7 billion (including the impairment of Ooyala), while its sales revenue fell slightly 0.2 per cent to $12.8 billion in the six months to December 2017. It also reported a 3.4 per cent drop in earnings per share to 14.3 cents. Telstra (ASX:TLS) closed 1.4 per cent lower at $3.43.
We can watch out for 13 companies reporting financial results today including ASX (ASX:ASX), Evolution Mining (ASX:EVN), Healthscope (ASX:HSO), IPH Limited (ASX:IPH), Sonic Healthcare Ltd (ASX:SHL), Mantra Group (ASX:MTR), McGrath Holding Company (ASX:MEA), Newcrest Mining Ltd (ASX:NCM), Origin Energy (ASX:ORG), South32 Ltd (ASX:S32), Suncorp Group Ltd (ASX:SUN) and URB Investments Ltd (ASX:URB).
4 companies are going ex-dividend today, Axsesstoday (ASX:AXL) is paying 2.9 cents fully franked, Ironbark Capital (ASX:IBC) is paying 1.1 cents fully franked, Janus Henderson (ASX:JHG) paying 40.8 cents un franked and Mineral Resources (ASX:MIN) is paying 25 cents fully franked.
Australian Dollar at 8.55am was buying 79.25 US cents, 56.63 Pence Sterling, 84.82 Yen and 63.67 Euro cents.
Gold has gained $23.40 to $US1,354 an ounce.
Silver has gained $0.31to $US16.84 an ounce.
Oil has gained $1.60 to $US60.63 a barrel.
The three most traded cryptocurrencies are mostly higher: Bitcoin is 8 per cent higher to $9,325, Tether is trading lower at $1.00 and Ethereum has gained over 7 per cent to $909.