The Australian share market will open higher this morning , on the back of strong leads from the US. Wall Street hit record highs overnight, and every sector finished in the green. If there were an Olympic gold medal for best performing sector in the US, it would most certainly go to the Energy sector, as the price of crude oil surged almost 5%.
This happened after the oil minister of Saudi Arabia made comments about potentially taking action to stabilise oil prices. Also, the International Energy Agency has forecast that, over the next few months, crude oil markets would rebalance.
US economic news
There has been some more positive data. Weekly US jobless claims fell slightly to 266,000 last week. This is a four decade low, and filings for unemployment have been below 300,000 for 75 consecutive weeks. This has been the longest consecutive stretch since 1970, when Richard Nixon was the US president (just to paint a picture of how long ago that was).
Wall Street finished higher on Thursday: The Dow Jones gained 0.6% to close at 18,614, the S&P 500 was up 0.5% at 2,186 and the NASDAQ was up 0.5 per cent to close at 5,228.
European markets closed higher as well: London’s FTSE was up 0.7 per cent, while Paris was up 1.2 percent and Frankfurt gained 0.9 per cent.
Asian markets finished mixed: Tokyo’s Nikkei was closed for its ‘Mountain Day’ public holiday, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was up 0.4 percent, and the Shanghai Composite was down 0.5 per cent.
The Australian share market finished weaker yesterday: The ASX 200 closed 36 points lower to finish at 5,508. On the futures market the SPI is up 33 points.
The Australian Dollar at 7:20AM was buying $US0.7700, 59.44 Pence, 78.50 Yen and 69.15 Euro cents.
Diversified mining services company, Ausdrill Ltd (ASX:ASL), has won a contract to perform additional works at Perseus Mining’s Edikan Gold Mine in Ghana. These additional works will generate around $157 million in revenue over a 42 month period. The company expects mining to begin next month in September.
Shares in Ausdrill closed 7.96% lower at $1.04.
Equity investment company, Hunter Hall International Ltd (ASX:HHL), has reported an after tax profit of $7.8 million for the year ended 30 June 2016. The company says this is an astounding 86.8% increase over the previous financial year’s profit. The company will pay a final fully franked dividend of 14.6 cents per share.
Shares in Hunter Hall closed steady at $4.07
Three companies going ex-dividend today. Managed Accounts Holdings will pay a dividend of 0.2 cents, while Scentre Group will pay a dividend of 10.65 cents – both of these are unfranked.
Suncorp Group's dividend is 38 cents, fully franked.
Gold has lost $1.90 to $US1,350 an ounce for the December contract on Comex.
Silver is down $0.15 to $20.02 for September.
Copper is up $0.02 to $2.20 a pound for September.
Oil has gained $1.77 to $US44.23 a barrel for September light crude in New York.