Wall Street rally reverses in late trade: Aus shares to open flat

Market Reports

by Anna Napoli

The Australian share market is set to open flat today, US shares rose on Monday but the major indices fell back in late trade. CNBC is attributing the afternoon drop to reports FBI officers raided the office of President Trumps personal lawyer. Early gains may have been driven by US officials attempts to soften talk of a trade war. Pharmaceutical company Merck and Co was one of the best performing stocks gaining over 5 per cent.

On the commodities front – Oil rebounded over 2 per cent . Gold was also down.

Local economic news

Today we can look out for latest business survey from National Australia Bank. The business confidence index is expected to drop one point to 8 for March according to Trading Economics, which is still above average given recent market volatility. Meantime business conditions hit a record high of 21 points in February, the highest reading since the survey began in 1997. A strong result is also expected for March.

Markets

Wall Street closed higher: The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.2 per cent to close at 23,979, the S&P 500 added 0.3 per cent to close at 2,613 and the NASDAQ closed 0.5 per cent higher to 6950.

European markets closed higher: London’s FTSE gained 0.2 per cent, Paris added 0.1 per cent and Frankfurt ended up 0.2 per cent.

Asian markets closed up: Tokyo’s Nikkei added 0.5 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 1.3 per cent, and China’s Shanghai Composite rose 0.2 per cent.

Taking all of this into equation, the ASX futures are pointing to a 1 point fall. Yesterday the Australian share market closed higher with the S&P/ASX 200 Index closing 20 points higher at 5809

Company news

Vacuum cleaner merchant Godfreys (ASX:GFY) has received a take-over bid from the company’s co-founder John Johnstone. Johnstone is director of Arcade which is the largest holder of Godfreys shares. Arcade is offering 32 cents per Godfrey’ share. That’s a 52 per cent premium to the closing price of the company on the 6th of April. Godfrey’s will be removed from the ASX and returned to private ownership if the buyout bid is successful. The company listed in 2014 at $2.75 and has since suffered falling sales, changes in management and a sliding share price. Shares in Godfrey’s (ASX:GFY) closed 2.33 per cent lower at $0.21.

Ex dividends

Contango (ASX:CIE) is paying 1.6 cents 50 per cent franked, Gowing Bros. Limited (ASX:GOW) is paying 6 cents fully franked

Currencies

One Australian Dollar at 7:40AM was buying US76.97 cents, 54.49 Pence Sterling, 82.17 Yen and 62.48 Euro cents.

Commodities

Gold has gained $3.50 to $US1340 an ounce.
Silver has added $0.12 to $US16.48 an ounce.