US stocks jump: Aus shares to open firmer

Market Reports

by Rachael Jones

US stocks rallied to a seven-week high while setting the pace for Australian shares to open firmer today. Tech led the way in the US with Apple shares climbing to a new high. All 11 major S&P sectors posted gains. A weak inflation reading signalled that the Federal Reserve won’t need to step up the pace of interest-rate increases.The 10-year Treasury yield slipped to 2.97 percent. Gold and oil prices are up and iron ore futures are pointing to a 0.8 per cent gain. 

Local ecomonic news

Australia March home loans data is due out today - showing March investment lending and March owner-occupier loan value.

Figures from around the globe

Wall Street closed higher yesterday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.8 per cent to close at 24,740, the S&P 500 closed 0.9 per cent higher at 2,723 and the NASDAQ gained 0.9 per cent to close at 7405.

European markets closed higher yesterday: London’s FTSE ended 0.5 per cent higher, Paris added 0.2 per cent and Frankfurt gained 0.6 per cent.

Asian markets closed higher: Tokyo’s Nikkei closed 0.4 per cent higher, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 0.9 per cent, and China’s Shanghai Composite added 0.5 per cent.

Taking all of this into equation, the ASX futures are pointing to a 13 pts gain. Yesterday, the Australian share market closed higher with the S&P/ASX 200 Index closing 11 points higher to 6119.

Company news 

Litigation funder IMF (ASX:IMF) is proposing to fund a new securities class action against Retail Food Group (ASX:RFG). The company is behind Michel’s Patisserie and Gloria Jean’s. The class action is in respect of alleged contraventions by the company of its continuous disclosure obligations and alleged misleading concerning the financial performance of its franchise network, growth and market guidance. Law firm Phi Finney McDonald is seeking investors who bought shares in Retail Food Group between April 2017 and the end of February 2018 and lost out when media reports of mistreatment of franchisees caused the company’s share price to plunge in December 2017. RFG shares fell sharply again in March this year due to writedowns, and flagged the closure of up to 200 stores.

Shares in Retail Food Group (ASX:RFG) closed 2.27 per cent lower at 86c yesterday.

Ex-dividends

Just one company are going ex-dividend today: 
Tamawood Limited (ASX:TWD) paying 11 cents fully franked.

Currencies

One Australian Dollar at 7:40AM was buying US75.33 cents, 55.77 Pence Sterling, 82.41 Yen and 63.22 Euro cents.

Commodities

Iron ore futures are pointing to a 0.8 per cent gain.
Gold has gained $8.80 to $US1322 an ounce.
Silver has added 21c to $US16.75 an ounce.
Oil has gained 27c to $US71.32 a barrel.

Cryptocurrencies

The three most traded cryptocurrencies are trading mixed: Bitcoin has lost 1.9 per cent to US$9124, Ethereum fell 1.3 per cent to US$742 and EOS has added 0.5 per cent to US$17.90.