US stocks edged mostly higher on Wednesday. The Dow Jones was weighed down by Walt Disney shares which sagged by 9 per cent on weaker than expected revenue and lower profit forecasts for the TV networks.
A near 3 per cent surge in the iron ore price over night could see strength in the miners today with the ASX expected to open in positive territory.
US Economic news
The ADP National Employment Report showed private employers added a smaller than expected 185,000 workers in July, down from 229,000 in June. The numbers are an indicator that a weak read from government’s payrolls report due Friday could delay a Federal Reserve rate rise.
Wall Street closed mixed yesterday: The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 0.1 per cent to close at 17,540, the S&P 500 added 0.3 per cent to close at 2,100 and the NASDAQ advanced 0.7 per cent to close at 5,140.
European markets closed higher: London’s FTSE added 1 per cent, Paris rose 1.7 per cent and Frankfurt climbed 1.6 per cent.
Asian markets closed mixed: Tokyo’s Nikkei added 0.5 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was up 0.4 per cent, and China’s Shanghai Composite slipped 1.7 per cent.
The Australian share market closed lower yesterday: The S&P/ASX 200 Index closed 24 points down to finish at 5,674. On the futures market the SPI is 15 points up.
Turning to currencies and the Australian Dollar at 7:20AM was buying 73.56 US cents, 47.17 Pence Sterling, 91.83 Yen and 67.48 Euro cents.
In economic news: Due out today from the Australian Bureau of Statistics are employment figures for July
AusNet Services (ASX:AST)
has lost its High Court appeal against disputed tax assessments worth $90 million to the ATO. AusNet has already paid nearly $31 million of the disputed amount and will now have to make a final payment of $60.4 million, $33 million of which is interest charges. AusNet Services last traded 1.08 per cent down at $1.38.
Austbrokers Holdings limited (ASX:AUB)
has paid $8.6 million upfront for a 60 per cent interest in Allied Health Australia. Further payments are expected based around financial results. The acquisition is expected to add 2 cents per share to underlying earnings. Shares is Austbrokers last traded 0.67 per cent down at $8.92.
One companies is trading ex-dividend today: Katana Capital (ASX:KAT)
will pay 1.5 cents fully-franked.
Gold has slipped $6.70 to $US1,084 an ounce for the December contract on Comex. Silver has added nearly 1 cent to $14.56 for September. Copper has shed 1 cent to $2.35 a pound. Oil has dipped $0.63 to $US45.11 a barrel for September light crude in New York.