The Australian share market looks set to fall sharply at the open as US stocks slumped on Thursday as President Donald Trump moved to impose tariffs on up to $60 billion of Chinese imports.
The move fuelled the biggest percentage declines in Wall Street’s three major indices since they entered correction territory six weeks ago.
The Dow Jones index tumbled and European stock markets also suffered massive losses in reaction to the tariff announcement.
Industrial stocks were among the weakest performers, with Boeing and Caterpillar sliding by at least 4 per cent each.
Technology stocks also fared poorly, with Facebook shares dropping by another 2.7 per cent overnight.
Meanwhile gold rose as US crude oil inventories fell below the five year average.
Taking all of this into equation, the ASX futures are pointing to a 89 points fall. Yesterday the Australian share market closed lower with the S&P/ASX 200 Index closing 13 points lower at 5,937.
To the figures from around the globe: Wall Street closed lower: The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped almost 3.0 per cent to close at 23,958, the S&P 500 lost 2.5 per cent to close at 2,644 and the NASDAQ fell 2.4 per cent to close at 7,167.
European markets closed lower: London’s FTSE lost 1.2 per cent, Paris fell 1.4 per cent and Frankfurt finished 1.7 per cent lower.
Asian markets closed mixed: Tokyo’s Nikkei gained almost 1.0 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng dropped 1.1 per cent, and China’s Shanghai Composite fell 0.5 per cent.
CIMIC Group company (ASX:CIM), Leighton Asia, has been selected by MPCALA Holdings Inc. to construct the Cavite Laguna Expressway project in the Philippines. Revenue to Leighton Asia, is approximately $182 million. Construction is scheduled to start in the second quarter of 2018 and be completed by 2020. The 28 km four lane expressway will include bridges, interchanges and toll plazas. On completion, the expressway will reduce travel times from Cavite to Laguna by approximately 45 minutes.
Shares in Cimic Group (ASX:CIM) closed 0.46 per cent higher at $46.30.
Four companies are going ex-dividend today
AVJennings Limited (ASX:AVJ)
Briscoe Group (ASX:BGP)
Gale Pacific Limited (ASX:GAP)
IMF Bentham Ltd (ASX:IMF)
One Australian Dollar at 8:30AM was buying US76.99 cents, 54.59 Pence Sterling, 81.06 Yen and 62.58 Euro cents.
Gold has gained $7.40 to $US1334.70 an ounce.
Silver has lost $0.04 to $US16.38 an ounce.
Oil has dropped $0.96 to $US64.21 a barrel.
The three most traded cryptocurrencies are trading lower: Bitcoin has fallen 3.7 per cent to US$8,611, Ethereum dropped 6 per cent to US$528 and EOS has lost over 1 per cent to US$6.82.