Wall Street closes slightly down: Aus shares to open lower

Market Reports

by Anna Napoli

The Australian share market is set to open slightly lower today, Wall Street closed marginally down on Friday. The missile strikes against Syria and potential sanctions against Russia dented investor confidence. Political tensions overshadowed some positive company results as the first week of reporting season came to a close in the US. JP Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo and Citigroup were among the worst performers. While General Electric was one of the biggest risers jumping over 2 per cent. Despite Friday's decline, the major averages posted strong gains for the week.

On the commodities front – Oil has hit its highest price in three years amid the tensions in the middle east. Gold is also up.

Local economic news

On Tuesday the Reserve Bank releases minutes of its April Board meeting.

While on Wednesday the ABS releases the Overseas Arrivals and Depatures information. Tourist arrivals rose by 2.4 per cent to a record-high of over 760 thousand during the month of January. Arrivals increased by 5.7 per cent over the year.

On Thursday all eyes will be on whether the Aussie labour market can continue its record-breaking run of monthly job gains. Jobs rose for a record-breaking 17th straight month in February.

Markets

Wall Street closed lower on Friday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 0.5 per cent to close at 24,360, the S&P 500 was down 0.3 per cent to close at 2,656 and the NASDAQ fell 0.5 per cent to close at 7107.

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

Asian markets closed mixed: Tokyo’s Nikkei added 0.6 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng lost 0.1 per cent, and China’s Shanghai Composite declined 0.7 per cent.

Taking all of this into equation, the ASX futures are pointing to a 6 points fall. On Friday, Yesterday the Australian share market closed higher with the S&P/ASX 200 Index adding 14 points to close at 5829.

Company news

Investment house Washington H. Soul Pattison (ASX:SOL) has announced the appointment of Mr. David Grbin as Chief financial officer. He brings over 30 years of experience to the role and was previously CFO of the Trust Company and most recently CFO of the Grays eCommerce Group. The appointment follows the resignation of current CFO Melinda Roderick. Shares in Washington H Soul Pattison (ASX:SOL) closed 0.32 per cent lower to $18.59.

Ex dividends

New Hope Corporation is paying 6 cents per share fully franked, Plato Inc is paying half a cent fully franked and TPG Telecom Limited is paying 2 cents also fully franked.

Currencies

One Australian Dollar at 7:40AM was buying US77.69 cents, 54.56 Pence Sterling, 83.52 Yen and 63.01 Euro cents.

Commodities

Gold has gained $6.00 to $US1347.90 an ounce.
Silver has added $0.19 to $US16.66 an ounce.
Oil has risen $0.31 to $US67.33 a barrel.

Cryptocurrencies

The three most traded cryptocurrencies are trading mixed: Bitcoin has gained 2.97 per cent to US$8271, Ethereum added 3.77 per cent to US$523.89 and EOS has fallen 1.92 per cent to US$8.34.