Following strong leads, the Australian share market looks set to open higher. On Friday the S&P 500 recorded its biggest weekly increase since March, with both financial and technology stocks posting solid gains. Investors took their cue from Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen’s remarks on Friday which pointed to a probable rate increase “in the coming months”, off the back of improving economic data.
US economic news
Gross domestic product expanded 0.8 percent for the first quarter, better than the 0.5 percent estimate. U.S. markets will be closed on Monday for the Memorial Day holiday and will reopen Tuesday.
Wall Street closed up on Friday: The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.3 per cent to close at 17,873, the S&P 500 added 0.4 per cent to close at 2,099 and the NASDAQ was up 0.7 per cent to close at 4,934.
European markets closed up: London’s FTSE rose 0.08 per cent, Paris gained 0.05 per cent and Frankfurt lifted 0.1 per cent.
Asian markets closed mixed: Tokyo’s Nikkei added 0.4 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was up 0.9 per cent, and China’s Shanghai Composite fell 0.1 per cent.
The Australian share market closed higher on Friday: The S&P/ASX 200 Index closed 18 points up to finish at 5,406, up 55 points on the week. On the futures market the SPI is 23 points up.
The Australian Dollar at 7:20AM was buying $US71.79 cents, 49.15 Pence Sterling, 79.25 Yen and 64.60 Euro cents.
Due out today from the Housing Industry of Australia are its Month on Month new home sales data for April. Also today from the Australian Bureau of Statistics are Q1 Business Inventories figures and Corporate Profit numbers.
XPED Limited (ASX:XPE)
has announced it will officially launch its multilingual Device Browser App in the September Quarter. Software developer Codium has been engaged to build full native Android and iOS Apps for the company. The company has indicated the Beta version of the app will be released on Android in the coming weeks.
Shares in XPED closed 6.52 per cent up on Friday at $0.098.
Hunter Hall International Limited (ASX:HHL)
has advised that Peter Hall will step down as Chairman on 27 May 2016, and will be replaced by Kevin Eley. Mr Hall will continue on as CEO in the business. The company has also upwardly revised their profit guidance for FY16, with profits for the 6 months to 30 June expected to be slightly above the $3.3 million recorded for the 6 months prior.
Shares in Hunter Hall International closed 1.88 per cent up on Friday at $3.25.
3 companies are going ex-dividend today. Aurora Dividend Income Trust will pay 0.36 cents fully franked. China Dairy Limited will pay 0.57 cents unfranked. PTB Group Limited will pay 5 cents fully franked.
Gold has dropped $6.00 to $US1,217 an ounce for the June contract on Comex.
Silver is down $0.07 to $16.27 for July.
Copper has gained $0.01 to $2.11 a pound for July.
Oil has fallen $0.05 to $US49.33 a barrel for June light crude in New York.