The Australia share market is eyeing a lift at the open following our strong close yesterday. It comes as Wall Street inked its fifth day of straight gains and commodities like oil and iron ore have again rallied.
As for US stocks, the tech heavy Nasdaq rose the most for the second day in a row with Amazon, Netflix and Alphabet gaining. On the Dow jones, Boing soared the most with the three main indices all gaining over 1 per cent despite interest rates hitting multi-year highs.
US economic news
US Producer prices bolstered in January on the back of gains in the cost of petrol and health care. Final demand increased 0.4 per cent last month after being unchanged in December and it was in line with market expectations.
Meantime, US factory production fell 0.1 per cent in January while the market was expecting a rise of 0.2 per cent. For analysts it raises alarm bells as production dropped in the aerospace, plastics and food industries.
Taking all of this into equation, the futures are suggesting a rise of 20 points so we should lift off from yesterday’s close. The ASX 200 rose 68 points higher or 1.2 per cent yesterday to 5,909, our best close this week.
Wall Street closed higher yesterday: The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 1.23 per cent to close at 25,200, the S&P 500 added 1.2 per centto close at 2731and the NASDAQ gained1.6 per centto close at 7256
European markets closed higher: London’s FTSE rose 0.3 per cent, Paris gained 1.1 per cent and Frankfurt closed 0.1 per cent higher.
Asian markets closed higher: Tokyo’s Nikkei rose 1.5 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained almost 2 per cent, and China’s Shanghai Composite was closed for a public holiday.
Medibank Private (ASX:MBL) reported its net profit rose 6 per cent in the half-year ending December to $246 million. Its income from operations rose marginally, by 1.7 per cent to $3.5 billion. Meantime its earnings per share rose to 8.9 cents while its interim dividend rose to 5.5 cents per share. Its bolstered results came on the back of a rise in premiums. It also launched a $20 million one-off loyally bonus to its customers. Medibank shares closed 1 per cent higher yesterday to $3.04
Reporting financial results
Medibank (ASX:MPL), Whitehaven Coal (ASX:WHC), iSelect (ASX:ISU), IOOF Holdings (ASX:IFL), The Star Entertainment Group (ASX:SGR), Village Roadshow (ASX:VRL), Primary Health Care (ASX:PRY).
Three companies are going ex-dividend today, Annsell Limited (ASX:ANN) is paying 26.35 cents 54.9 per cent franked, Argo Investments (ASX:ARG) is paying 15.5 cents full franked, and Dicker Data (ASX:DDR) is paying 4.8 cents fully franked.
Australian Dollar at 8.45am was buying 79.42 US cents, 56.36 Pence Sterling, 84.28 Yen and 63.54 Euro cents.
Gold has dropped $2.40 to $US1,356 an ounce.
Silver has lost $0.04 to $US16.84 an ounce.
Oil has gained $0.76 to $US61.27a barrel.
The three most traded cryptocurrencies are trading higher, Bitcoin has gained 8 per cent to US$10,074, Tether has gained about 0.1 per cent to US$1 and Ethereum has climbed about 2.4 per cent to US$933.