Wall St choppy, aluminium plunges: ASX shares set to open higher

Market Reports

by Anna Napoli

Australian shares are set to open higher despite a choppy session on Wall Street. Stocks fell on Monday as tech shares tumbled, while investors were also concerned over higher interest rates. Aluminium and shares of aluminium producers plunged after the US gave American customers of Russia's biggest aluminium producer more time to comply with sanctions. The 10-year Treasury note yield hit a high of 2.99 per cent, the highest rate in more than 4 years. The busiest week of US reporting season kicked off with Google parent company Alphabet beating analyst expectations. The stock initially popped 3 per cent on the news but ended the day a quarter of a per cent lower.

Crude oil rose modestly while gold and copper were both down.

Local Ecomonic news

Today 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.

It’s expected that the headline measure of inflation rose by half a per cent to be up 2 per cent over the year.

Markets

Wall Street closed mostly weaker yesterday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.1 per cent to close at 24,449, the S&P 500 gained 0.01 per cent to close at 2,670 and the NASDAQ dropped 0.3 per cent to close at 7129.

European markets closed higher: London’s FTSE added 0.4 per cent, Paris rose 0.5 per cent higher and Frankfurt ended 0.3 higher.

Asian markets closed lower: Tokyo’s Nikkei fell 0.3 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng dropped 0.5 per cent, and China’s Shanghai Composite lost 0.1 per cent.

Taking all of this into equation, the ASX futures are pointing to a 8 points gain. Yesterday, the Australian share market closed higher with the S&P/ASX 200 Index closing 17 points higher at 5886.

Company news

Santos (ASX:STO) has inked a deal with joint venture partners to start engineering and design work on a multi-billion dollar gas project at the Barossa field to supply Darwin LNG. The oil and gas giant says the Barossa development will more than double current production out of Northern Australia. Santos holds a 25 per cent stake in the venture alongside partners Conoco Phillips and SK E&S who both hold 37 and a half per cent respectively.
Santos is currently the subject of a $13.5 billion takeover offer from US group Harbour Energy.
Shares in Santos (ASX:STO) closed 0.17% higher to $6.01 yesterday

Ex-dividends

Ellerston Global Investments (ASX:EGI) is paying 2 and a half cents fully franked.

Currencies

One Australian Dollar at 7:40 AM was buying US76.08 cents, 54.58 Pence Sterling, 82.69 Yen and 62.31 Euro cents.

Commodities

Iron ore futures are pointing to a 0.95 per cent gain.
Gold has dropped almost $12 to $US1327 an ounce.
Silver has falled 55c to $US16.67 an ounce.
Oil has added $0.52 to $US68.92 a barrel.

Cryptocurrencies

The three most traded cryptocurrencies are trading higher: Bitcoin has gained 0.2 per cent to US$8919, Ethereum added 0.4 per cent to US$640 and Bitcoin Cash increased 13.4 per cent to US$1402.