US unemployment reaches record high: ASX set to open higher

Market Reports

by Katrina Bullock

The Australian share market is expected to open higher this morning despite a seesaw session on Wall Street overnight and the released of fresh record unemployment data in the US. The figures show that an additional 5.25 million jobless claims were recorded last week, bringing the US’s total job losses since the COVID-19 impact to around 22 million. This eclipses the job losses we saw during the global financial crisis. The economic pressure in the US is showing as President Donald Trump moves to reopen the economy despite strong advice from health experts that the US COVID death toll of around 31,000 will only grow if he implements his proposed strategy. We are expecting China to release its industrial production and retail sales data for the month of March today, with analysts projecting that that China is expected to record negative GDP growth for the first time in 40 years.


Wall Street closed higher yesterday: The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.1 per cent to close 23,538 the S&P 500 added 0.6 per cent to 2800 and the NASDAQ closed 1.7 per cent higher at 8532.

European markets closed mixed: London’s FTSE added 0.6 per cent, Paris dropped 0.1 per cent and Frankfurt gained 0.2 per cent.

Asian markets closed mixed: Tokyo’s Nikkei dropped 1.3 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 0.6 per cent and China’s Shanghai Composite added 0.3 per cent.

Taking all of this into equation, the SPI futures are pointing to a 0.2 per cent rise.

Yesterday, the Australian share market closed 0.9 per cent lower at 5,416.

Company news

Ord Minnett has upgraded construction materials and lime produce Adelaide Brighton (ASX:ABC) from a hold to an accumulate, with a 12-month price target of $3.00. The broker believes that despite the prospect of a recession, there is still significant potential value in quality companies which are category leaders with a proven business model, strong liquidity and significant valuation support. This comes as the company pushed ahead with its annual general meeting scheduled for 19 May 2020 despite the COVID restrictions. The company urges shareholders not to attend the AGM in person and to instead lodge a directed proxy vote in advance of the meeting, and watch the live AGM webcast. Shares in Adelaide Brighton (ASX:ABC) closed 1.95 per cent lower at $2.52 yesterday


One Australian Dollar at 7:30 AM was buying 63.36 US cents, 50.88 Pence Sterling, 68.38 Yen and 58.45 Euro cents.


Iron Ore has fallen 2 per cent to US$85.37
Iron Ore futures suggest a 0.3 per cent fall.
Gold has fallen $6.40 to US$1,734 an ounce.
Silver has gained $0.25 to US$15.90 an ounce.
Oil was down $0.12 to US$19.75 a barrel.