The ASX has a negative lead from US stocks which took a tumble Friday following a long awaited speech from Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen.
Speaking at the annual economic symposium at Jackson Hole Ms Yellen said the continued solid performance of the labour market made a stronger case for an increase in the federal funds rate however she gave no indication of the timing of any rate increase.
To US economic news the Commerce Department said the trade gap had narrowed toa a seasonally adjusted $59.3 billion in July from $64.5 billion in June. That was lower than analyst expectations of $62.5 billion.
Wall Street closed mixed on Friday: The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 0.3 per cent to close at 18,395, the S&P 500 lost 0.2 per cent to close at 2,169 and the NASDAQ advanced 0.1 per cent to close at 5,219.
European markets closed higher: London’s FTSE added 0.3 per cent, Paris rose 0.8 per cent and Frankfurt added 0.6 per cent.
Asian markets closed mixed: Tokyo’s Nikkei slipped 1.2 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rose 0.4 per cent, and China’s Shanghai Composite added 0.1 per cent.
The Australian share market closed lower ahead of the weekend: The S&P/ASX 200 Index closed 26 points down to finish at 5,515 to be 11 points down on the week. On the futures market the SPI is 4 points lower.
The Australian Dollar at 7:20AM was buying 75.62 US cents, 57.67 Pence Sterling, 77.12 Yen and 67.64 Euro cents.
Five companies will present results today including Beach Energy, Cardno and Infomedia.
Karoon Gas Australia Limited (ASX:KAR) has announced a couple of changes to its board. Ms Luciana Rachid joins the board with 35 years experience in the oil and gas industry in Brazil. Mr Bernard Wheelahan will not stand for re-election at the 2016 AGM. Shares in Karoon Gas last traded 0.75 per cent lower at $1.33.
Talga Resources Limited (ASX:TLG) says it has completed the sale of its Pilbara Gold projects to Beatons Creek Gold. Talga agreed to receive 765,000 shares in lieu of the $750,000in cash payments still outstanding. Talga will also receive a 1.5 per cent smelter royalty on minerals from the project. Shares in Talga Resources last traded 5.66 per cent stronger at $0.28.
Five companies are going ex-dividend today: including Aurizon Holdings, Wesfarmers and Woodside.
Gold has added $1.30 to US$1,326 an ounce for the December contract on Comex. Silver has advanced 13 cents to $18.75 for September. Copper is steady at $2.09. Oil has lifted 31 cents to US$47.64 for October light crude in New York.