Australian shares are set to open lower today as US share markets fell on Friday, tech stocks and consumer staples were the worst performing sectors. Apple shares fell over 4 per cent following reports the company’s I phone sales for the June quarter will disappoint. General Electric went the other way rising 4 per cent following better than expected quarterly results. This week is set to be the busiest week of reporting season in the US with big name tech companies such as Alphabet Facebook Twitter Amazon and Microsoft to announces results. Further fallout from the banking commission is also expected to negatively impact our market.
Oil rose for a second straight week as OPEC’s commitment to rebalance the market overshadowed the U.S. President’s tweet condemning Very High” prices. Gold has fallen to a two day low.
On Tuesday the ABS releases the March quarter Consumer Price Index – which is the main measure of inflation in Australia. Analysts expect inflation figures to be fairly low for the quarter.
Overall it’s expected that both headline and “underlying” measures of inflation rose by half a per cent to be up 2 per cent over the year. On Thursday export and import prices for the March quarter are released. The consensus is that export prices will be constrained by lower coal and iron ore prices. While import prices will be boosted by the higher oil prices.
Finally on Friday the ABS announces the Producer Price Index – measures that will provide a guide on inflation across the business sector.
Wall Street closed lower on Friday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.8 per cent to close at 24,463, the S&P 500 lost 0.9 per cent to close at 2,670 and the NASDAQ dropped 1.3 per cent to close at 7146.
European markets closed mixed: London’s FTSE added 0.5 per cent, Paris rose 0.4 per cent higher and Frankfurt ended 0.2 lower.
Asian markets closed lower: Tokyo’s Nikkei fell 0.1 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng dropped 0.9 per cent, and China’s Shanghai Composite lost 1.5 per cent.
Taking all of this into equation, the ASX futures are pointing to a 15 points drop. On Friday the Australian share market closed lower with the S&P/ASX 200 Index closing 12 points lower at 5869.
Australian biotech company viralytics (ASX:VLA) has advised that the Federal Court has ordered a meeting of the shareholders on Monday the 28th of May to vote on the proposed takeover by Merck Sharo & Dome (Holdings). The $502 million dollar takeover bid has been unanimously recommended by Viralytics board of directors.
Shares in Viralytics (ASX:VLA) Shares in Viralytcs (ASX:VLA) closed 0.3% higher to $1.70 on Friday
Just two company are going ex-dividend today:
Ridley Corporation (ASX: RIC) is paying 1 and a half cents fully franked and Aneka Tambang (ASX:ATM) is also going ex dividend.
One Australian Dollar at 7:45AM was buying US76.76 cents, 54.82 Pence Sterling, 82.73 Yen and 62.50 Euro cents.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a 0.06 per cent fall.
Gold has dropped almost $11 to $US1338 an ounce.
Silver has falled 8c to $US17.16 an ounce.
Oil has added $0.07 to $US68.40 a barrel.
The three most traded cryptocurrencies are trading higher: Bitcoin has gained 1.3 per cent to US$8899, Ethereum added 5.7 per cent to US$639 and EOS increased 6.5 per cent to US$11.55