Mixed US leads, commodities rise: ASX to lift at open

Market Reports

by Jessica Amir

The Australian share market is eyeing a lift at the open after the Dow and the S&P 500 closed higher, while the oil price is trading higher too and the iron ore futures are pointing to a rise.

On Wall Street, the Nasdaq did lose steam though and closed lower for the fourth straight day on the back of interest rate jitters.

In US economic news, the leading economic indicator index rose for the third straight month in January, with the key index rising 1 per cent, beating expectations of a 0.7 per cent lift. The index measures 10 key metrics, such as stock prices, unemployment insurance claims and building permits

Taking all of this into equation, the ASX futures are pointing to a 36 points gain. Yesterday the Australian share market closed higher with the S&P/ASX 200 Index closing 7 points higherat 5,951.

Markets

Wall Street closed mixed yesterday: The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.7 per cent to close at 24,962, the S&P 500 added 0.1 per cent to close at 2704 and the NASDAQ lost 0.1 per cent to close at 7,210.

European markets closed mixed: London’s FTSE lost 0.4 per cent, Paris gained X 0.1 per cent and Frankfurt fell 0.1 per cent.

Asian markets closed mixed: Tokyo’s Nikkei dropped 1.1 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 1.5 per cent, and China’s Shanghai Composite gained 2.2 per cent.

Company news

Retirement village operator Summerset (ASX:SNZ) reported a 54 per cent lift in its net profit after tax to NZ$223.4 million for the year ending December. It comes as the group saw strong demand for its homes, despite a slowing Auckland property market. Its shares closed flat at $5.02 yesterday.

Woolworths (ASX:WOW) reported its group net profit after tax rose 15 per cent to $902 million in its half year ending December 2017. It comes as group sales lifted 4 per cent in the period, compared to the same time last year, to $29.8 billion with the strongest sales from Dan Murphy’s and BWS. It declared a higher dividend in the period of 43 cents, a rise of 27 per cent. Its shares closed 0.3 per cent higher yesterday at $27.64.

Reporting season

Which is almost coming to a close, the likes of MYOB Group (ASX:MYO) National Storage Reit (ASX:NSR) 360 Capital Group (ASX:TGP) Automotive Holdings Group (ASX:AHG) Billabong International (ASX:BBG) Gateway Lifestyle (ASX:GTY) Watpac (ASX:WTP) Mayne Pharma Group (ASX:MYX) MyState (ASX:MYS) Pilbara Minerals (ASX:PLS) Regis Healthcare (ASX:REG) Southern Cross Media Group (ASX:SXL) PWR Holdings (ASX:PWH) Tassal Group (ASX:TGR) Woolworths Group (ASX:WOW) are reporting finanical results today.

Ex-dividends

8 companies are going ex-dividend today including

Domain Holdings Australia (ASX:DHG) is paying 4 cents 30 per cent franked
Evolution Mining (ASX:EVN) is paying 3.5 cents fully franked
Helloworld Travel (ASX:HLO) is 7 cents fully franked
IOOF Holdings (ASX:IFL) is 27 cents fully franked
Ingenia Communities (ASX:INA) is 5.1 cents unfranked
oOh!media (ASX:OML) is 10.5 cents fully franked
Platinum Capital (ASX:PMC is 4 cents fully franked
Whitehaven Coal (ASX:WHC) is 13 cents unfranked

Currencies

One Australian Dollar is buying 78.43 US cents, 56.20 Pence Sterling, 83.70 Yen and 63.63 Euro cents.

Commodities

Gold is trading $1.40 higher at $US1,334 an ounce.
Silver is trading lower at $US16.64 an ounce.
Oil has gained $1.04 to $US62.72 a barrel.

Cryptocurrencies

The three most traded cryptocurrencies are trading mixed: Bitcoin has fallen 1 per cent to US$10,905 Tether is trading at US$0.99, and Ethereum has fallen about 3 per cent to US$864.
 

Jessica Amir

Finance News Network
Jessica joined FNN in January 2017 with a passion for equities and funds management. As Head of News, she has been a broadcast journalist for over seven years, specialising in finance. She has been a journalist with Sky News Business, ABC 1, ABC's The Business and ABC24. She’s also worked as a TV reporter for regional Channel 7 and 9. She also previously worked as a financial planner and real estate agent.