Pro-democracy protests weigh on Hong Kong’s Hang Seng: Aus shares to open higher

Market Reports

by Katrina Bullock

The Australian share market is poised to open higher this morning following mixed headwinds from international markets. The European markets lost ground overnight and US markets closed mostly flat. The Australian market continues to come to terms with weak economic data released out of our largest trading partner, China this week. China’s industrial output grew significantly slower than expected in October, as weakness in global and domestic demand weighs on the market. Indicators showed other sectors also slowing significantly and missing forecasts with retail sales growth falling to a near 16 year low in the country. Back home, the Australian dollar slipped reflecting yesterday’s labour force report in which the ABS announced that that unemployment queue was getting longer, with the headline unemployment rate for October increasing to 5.3 per cent.

Markets

To the figures from around the globe: Wall Street closed relatively flat yesterday: The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 0.01 per cent lower at 27,782, the broader S&P 500 index closed 0.1 per cent higher at 3097 and the NASDAQ shed 0.04 per cent to 8479.

European markets closed lower: London’s FTSE lost 0.8 per cent, Paris fell 0.1 per cent and Frankfurt closed 0.4 per cent lower.

Asian markets closed mixed: Tokyo’s Nikkei lost 0.8 per cent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng dropped 0.9 per cent. This is its lowest close in almost a month as the market feels the effects of the pro-democracy protests which have caused widespread chaos in the country and spread into the working week. China’s Shanghai Composite added 0.2 per cent.

Taking all of this into equation, the SPI futures are pointing to a 0.3 per cent gain. Yesterday, the Australian share market closed 37 points or 0.6 per cent higher at 6735.

Company news 

Health and safety solution provider, Ansell (ASX:ANN) has announced the retirement of Chairman, Glenn Barnes, effective from yesterday. Glenn was appointed as a non-executive director in 2005 and elected as Chairman in 2012. This fits with the company’s board renewal strategy. Shares in Ansell (ASX:ANN) closed 10 cents higher at $29.01 yesterday.

Ex-dividend

Contrarian Value Fund (ASX:CVF) is paying 0.458 cents fully franked
ERM Power (ASX:EPW) is paying 8.5 cents fully franked
James Hardie Industries plc (ASX:JHX) is paying 11.5992 cents unfranked
Washington H. Soul Pattinson and Co. (ASX:SOL) is paying 34 cents fully franked

Currencies

One Australian Dollar at 8:25 AM was buying 67.86 US cents, 52.70 Pence Sterling, 73.59 Yen and 61.60 Euro cents.

Commodities

Iron Ore is 2.9 per cent higher at US$83.42.
Iron Ore futures suggest a 3.03 per cent gain.
Gold has added $8.20 to US$1472 an ounce.
Silver has gained 8 cents to US$16.99 an ounce.
Oil has dropped 20 cents to US$56.92 a barrel.