Following mixed leads from US markets, the Australian share market looks set to open lower. US stocks fell yesterday fueled by falls in tech and financial shares. General Electric saw one of the biggest declines. The three major benchmarks opened higher and were bolstered by the latest round of inflation data. But shares turned broadly by midday with the majority of S&P 500 sectors ending the day in the red. The downturn, possibly linked to the dismissal of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.
On the commodities front, oil has dropped and gold has gained about $6.00.
US economic news
The consumer price index (CPI) rose 0.2 percent in February, in line with economists' expectations. Inflation fears have been rattling markets, with investors concerned that price pressures could cause the Fed to raise interest rates more quickly than anticipated. Stock market futures rose off the back of the figures.
Wall Street closed lower yesterday: The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 0.7 per cent to close at 25,007, the S&P 500 lost 0.6 per cent to close at 2,765 and the NASDAQ lost 1.0 per cent to close at 7,511.
European markets closed lower : London’s FTSE fell 1.1 per cent, Paris lost 0.6 per cent and Frankfurt dropped 1.6 per cent.
Asian markets closed mixed: Tokyo’s Nikkei added 0.7 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Sengwas flat, and China’s Shanghai Composite was 0.5 per cent lower.
Taking all of this into consideration, the ASX futures are pointing to a 34 points fall. Yesterday the Australian share market closed lower with the S&P/ASX 200 Index closing 21 points down at 5,975.
Westpac (ASX:WBC) has announced the successful issue of $1.69 billion Westpac Capital notes. The company says about 16.9 million notes were issued at $100 each. The notes are expected to commence trading on the ASX in late March . The first distribution payment of around 99 cents per note is expected to be paid on the 22nd of June 2018. Westpac (ASX:WBC) closed 0.2 per cent ower at $30.20.
One Australian Dollar at 7:20AM was buying $US78.61 cents, 56.3 Pence Sterling, 83.72 Yen and 63.44 Euro cents.
Gold has gained $6 to $US1326 an ounce.
Silver is $6 cents higher to $US16.60 an ounce.
Oil has dropped $43 cents to $US60.87 a barrel.
three of the most traded cryptocurrencies are trading mixed: Bitcoin has gained 0.4 per cent to US$9137, and Litecoin 2 per cent lower to 175 Ethereum has fallen about 1 per cent to US$686.