Wall Street is weaker; Aus shares to still open higher

Market Reports

by David Chau

When the ASX opens for business this morning, local shares are expected to open higher.

US markets finished slightly lower on Monday, and are providing a weak lead.  But it should be kept min mind that Wall Street finished at record highs on Friday after all.

In the US, investors are waiting for key retail sales data due later this week.  Also, oil prices rose overnight, making energy shares the best performer.  But these gained were outweighed by losses in the Healthcare sector, which was the worst performer.

US economic news

The labor market conditions index (LMCI) rose 1.0 point for July. This is an improvement as it follows a decline of 1.9 points in the previous month. Combined with the stronger-than-expected jobs report last Friday, analysts say this could push the Fed to raise interest rates in September.

Markets

Wall Street finished lower on Monday: The Dow Jones lost 0.1 per cent to close at 18,529, the S&P 500 was down 0.1 per cent to close at 2,181 and the NASDAQ dipped 0.2 per cent to close at 5,213.

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

Asian markets finished higher as well: Tokyo’s Nikkei gained 2.4 per cent, Hong Kong Hang Seng was up 1.6 percent, and Shanghai Composite added 0.9 per cent.

The Australian share market finished stronger yesterday: The ASX 200 closed 40 points up to finish at 5,538. On the futures market the SPI is up 11 points.

Currencies

The Australian Dollar at 7:20AM was buying $US76.55 cents, 58.72 Pence, 78.43 Yen and 69.06 Euro cents.

Australian economic news

NAB's Monthly Business Survey for July will be released today, and will provide the latest insights on business confidence.

Company news

Scentre Group (ASX:SCG) and Cbus Property have purchased the iconic David Jones building on Market Street in the Sydney CBD. In total, they paid $360 million for this acquisition. David Jones will continue to occupy the site until late-2019. During the leaseback period, the new co-owners will obtain the necessary approvals to develop the site after David Jones vacates the property. Scentre Group says the building will be redeveloped so that the luxury retail space will be integrated with the existing Westfield shopping centre. It will also have office space and a luxury residential tower.

Shares in Scentre are trading steady at $5.21.

The Federal Court of Australia has made orders in relation to a scheme of arrangement involving oil and gas exploration company, Skyland Petroleum Ltd. Under the scheme, Skyland Petroleum will become the head parent entity of the Skyland Group. Now that Skyland has lodged these court orders with the ASX, the company is suspended from trading.

Ex-dividends

The Australian Foundation Investment Co Ltd will pay a dividend of 14 cents, fully franked.

Commodities

Gold has lost $3.10 to $US1,341 an ounce for the December contract on Comex.
Silver is down $0.01 to $19.80 for September.
Copper is up $0.01 to $2.17 a pound for September.
Oil has gained $1.22 to $US43.02 a barrel for September light crude in New York.

David Chau

Finance News Network
David joined FNN in April 2016. In addition to presenting the Market Outlook and latest business news stories, David interviews senior economists and CEOs of ASX-listed companies. Prior to working for FNN, David was a litigation lawyer.