The ASX is eyeing a hesitant start at the open after Wall Street closed lower, while local investors and traders are sitting on the edge of their seats ahead of the busiest day of companies reporting results. It comes as the US benchmark 10-year yield hit a fresh four-year high of 2.95 per cent after the US central bank, the Federal Reserve, released its last meeting minutes.
The Fed’s minutes from January noted economic growth and rising inflation as cause for interest rates to continue to rise over time. The Fed also expects inflation to reach its 2 per cent target.
Taking all of this into equation, the ASX futures are pointing to a 2 point gain. Yesterday the Australian share market closed slightly higher with ASX 200 Index gaining 3 points or 0.05 per cent to 5,944.
Wall Street closed lower yesterday: The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 0.7 per cent to close at 24,798, the S&P 500 lost 0.6 per cent to close at 2,701 and the NASDAQ shed 0.2 per cent to close at 7,218.
European markets closed mixed though: London’s FTSE gained 0.5 per cent, Paris gained 0.2 per cent and Frankfurt lost 0.1 per cent.
Asian markets closed bucked the trend and closed higher: Tokyo’s Nikkei added 0.2 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 1.8 per cent, and China’s Shanghai Composite is still closed for new year.
Michael Hill (ASX:MHJ) announced its net profit fell in the six months to December to $8.7 million on the back of US operations continuing to worsen, as well as weakness in its Emma & Roe business. Meantime its revenue strengthened when compared to the same time last year, lifting 4.5 per cent to $342.2 million with the company’s online sales climbing 73 per cent. It also declared an interim dividend of 2.5 cents per share payable on 29 March 2018. Its shares closed 1.4 per cent higher yesterday at $1.10.
It’s the busiest day of reporting season with over 25 companies reporting financial results today.
Alumina Ltd (ASX:AWC)
ClearView Wealth (ASX:CVW)
Inghams Group (ASX:ING)
Catapult Group International (ASX:CAT)
Asia Pacific Data Centre Group (ASX:AJD)
Crown Resorts (ASX:CWN)
Estia Health (ASX:EDE)
Flight Centre Travel Group (ASX:FLT)
Retail Food Group (ASX:RFG)
Mortgage Choice (ASX:MOC)
IRESS Ltd (ASX:IRE)
Link Administration Holdings (ASX:LNK)
Inghams Group Ltd (ASX:ING)
Nine Entertainment (ASX:NEC)
Platinum Asset Mgmt Ltd (ASX:PTM)
Qantas Airways (ASX:QAN)
Qube Holdings Ltd (ASX:QUB)
OceanaGold Corp (ASX:OGC)
Webjet Ltd (ASX:WEB)
RCR Tomlinson (ASX:RCR)
A basket of companies are going ex-dividend today including,
AGL (ASX:AGL) is paying 54 cents 80 per cent franked,
Australian United Investment Company (ASX:AUI) is paying 16 cents 80 per cent franked,
The Citadel Group Ltd(ASX:CGL) is paying 4.8 cents fully franked,
Diversified United Investment (ASX:DUI) is paying 6.5 cents fully franked,
GWA Group (ASX:GWA) is paying 8.5 cents fully franked,
iSelect (ASX:ISU) is paying 1.5 cents fully franked,
JB Hi-Fi (ASX:JBH) is paying 86 cents fully franked,
Korvest (ASX:KOV) is paying 5 cents fully franked,
Macquarie Media (ASX:MRN) is paying 3 cents fully franked,
Woodside Petroleum (ASX:WPL) is paying 61.84 cents fully franked
One Australian Dollar at 8.30am was buying 78.07 US cents, 56.09 Pence Sterling, 84.09 Yen and 63.55 Euro cents.
Gold has lost $5.30 to $US1,326 an ounce.
Silver is trading at $US16.50 an ounce.
Oil has lost $0.68 to $US61.11 a barrel.
The three most traded cryptocurrencies are trading lower, Bitcoin has lost 11 per cent to US$10,592, Tether is 0.3 per cent lower to US$0.99, and Ethereum is 9 per cent lower to US$841.