Wall Street closes mixed: Aus shares to open higher but more volatility expected

Market Reports

by Anna Napoli

Following mixed leads from US markets, the Australian share market looks set to open higher. The S&P 500 and NASDAQ rose marginally at the end of Friday’s trade on the back of gains in the healthcare sector. However, the major averages posted a weekly loss for the first time in three weeks. Presidents Trump’s comments about imposing tariffs on US steel and aluminum triggered volatility in the markets and Shares in key producers of steel products fell with Caterpillar and General Motors both closing lower.

On the commodities front, oil is holding steady and gold is up slightly.

Taking all of this into equation, the ASX futures are pointing to a12 points gain. On Friday the Australian share market closed lower with the S&P/ASX 200 Index closing 44points lower at 5,929.

Local Economic News

On Monday the ABS releases the December quarter business indicators. On Tuesday the Reserve Bank board meets – no change in interest rates are expected also on Tuesday we can look out for the broader trade data for the December quarter and retail trade date for January. Finally on Thursday the ABS releases the international trade figures for the month of January.

Markets

 Wall Street closed mixed yesterday: The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 0.3 per cent to close at 24,538 the S&P 500 added 0.5 per cent to close at 2,691 and the NASDAQ gained 1.1 per cent to close at 7,258.

European markets closed lower: London’s FTSE fell 1.5 per cent, Paris lost 2.4 per cent and Frankfurt was down 2.3 per cent.

Asian markets closed lower: Tokyo’s Nikkei dropped 2.5 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 1.5 per cent, and China’s Shanghai Composite was down 0.6 per cent.

Company news

Fairfax media (ASX:FXJ) has announced that the New Zealand Court of Appeal has confirmed dates for hearing the appeal of the merger between NZME (ASX:NZM) and Fairfax Media’s New Zealand business Stuff Limited.

The New Zealand Commerce Commission declined to clear or authorise the merger in May 2017, and it was later unsuccessfully appealed in October 2017.

The appeal will be heard on the 5th of June.

Shares in NZME(ASX:NZM) closed 0.7per cent higher at $0.72 on Friday.

Currencies

One Australian Dollar at 7:20AM was buying $US77.71 cents, 56.31 Pence Sterling, 82.11 Yen and 62.96 Euro cents.

Commodities

Gold has gained $18.20 to $US1323 an ounce.
Silver has gained 19 cents to $US16.47 an ounce.
Oil has gained 26 cents to $US61.25 a barrel.

Cryptocurrencies

The three most traded cryptocurrencies are trading higher/lower/mixed: Bitcoin has gained 0.1 per cent to US$11, 461, Tether fallen about 0.1 per cent to US 99 cents, and Ethereum [pick based on market cap] has /gained about 0.9 per cent to US$866

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