The Australian stock market will open lower this morning, following sharp falls in equities all around the world.
In the US, every sector finished in the red, with the worst losses being suffered by the financials sector -- in particular, JPMorgan, Wells Fargo, Bank of America and Deutche Bank.
US investors are also feeling a bit anxious ahead of the first Presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump today. Currently, polls are saying that both candidates are neck and neck, but the outcome of today’s debate could push one of them ahead.
US economic news
Sales of new single-family homes fell less than expected in August -- falling by 7.6 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 609,000 units. Sales were up 20.6 percent compared to one year ago.
Wall Street finished lower: The Dow Jones fell 0.9 per cent to close at 18,095, the S&P 500 was down 0.9 per cent to close at 2,146 and the NASDAQ lost 0.9 per cent to close at 5,257.
European markets were also down: London’s FTSE lost 1.3 per cent, Paris slipped 1.8 per cent and Frankfurt dipped 2.2 per cent.
Asian markets closed lower as well: Tokyo’s Nikkei dropped 1.3 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 1.6 per cent, and the Shanghai Composite was also down 1.8 per cent.
The Australian share market was flat yesterday. The S&P/ASX 200 Index closed steady at 5,431. This morning, on the futures market, the SPI is down 44 points.
The Australian Dollar at 7:20AM was buying $US76.37 cents, 58.87 Pence, 76.63 Yen and 67.87 Euro cents.
The Federal Court of Australia has approved the scheme of arrangement between OneVue Holdings Ltd (ASX:OVH) and Diversa Ltd (ASX:DVA) – both of them superannuation companies. This means that OneVue can now acquire all the ordinary shares in Diversa. OneVue will lodge the Court orders with ASIC today. Shares in OneVue closed 0.73% higher at 69 cents.
Air New Zealand (ASX:AIZ) has promoted John Whittaker from Group General Manager (of) Airports to the new executive position of Chief Air Operations and People Safety Officer, reporting directly to the company’s CEO. Shares in Air New Zealand closed 1.41% lower at $1.75.
Four companies are going ex-dividend today:
The Costa Group (ASX:CGC) will pay a dividend of 6 cents, fully franked.
Japara Healthcare (ASX:JHC) will pay 5.75 cents, fully franked.
Northern Star (ASX:NST) will pay 4 cents, fully franked.
Sirtex Medical (ASX:SRX) will pay 30 cents, 77.66% franked.
Gold has gained 20 cents to $US1,342 an ounce.
Silver has lost $0.29 to $19.52.
Copper is down 1 cent to $2.19 a pound.
Oil is up $1.14 to $US45.62 a barrel.