Following weak leads, the Australian share market looks set to drift lower at the opening bell. Despite Friday’s good news on the financial sector corporate earnings front, all major US indexes posted losses over the week. The driver for markets and sentiment continues to be December’s possible rate hike, with economic data indicating the market may well be able to tolerate higher borrowing costs.
US economic news
Retail sales rose 0.6 percent in September, right in line with market expectations. Producer prices also rose for the month, up 0.3 percent on August, beating market consensus of a 0.2 percent rise only. Consumer sentiment was a weak spot in the data however, dropping to 87.9 in October, well below September’s figure of 91.2 and potentially reflecting the volatile nature and uncertainty surrounding this year’s presidential election.
Wall Street closed mostly flat on Friday: The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.2 per cent to close at 18,138, the S&P 500 closed flat at 2,133 and the NASDAQ was also flat at 5,214.
European markets closed up: London’s FTSE rose 0.5 per cent, Paris added 1.5 per cent and Frankfurt rose 1.6 per cent.
Asian markets closed up: Tokyo’s Nikkei added 0.5 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 0.9 per cent, and China’s Shanghai Composite lifted 0.1 per cent.
The Australian share market closed lower on Friday: The S&P/ASX 200 Index closed 2 points down to finish at 5,434. On the week the market was down 33 points. On the futures market the SPI is 9 points down.
The Australian Dollar at 7:20AM was buying $US76.32 cents, 62.82 Pence Sterling, 79.66 Yen and 69.57 Euro cents.
Macquarie Media Limited (ASX:MRN) has announced it has not met the ACMA imposed deadline for the sale of its radio station 2CH. The company has advised the market ACMA had objected to the terms of two separate proposed deals it company submitted prior to the sale deadline. Vaughn Strawbridge from Deloitte will now be appointed to handle the sale, with Macquarie Media confident it can still find a buyer in the coming months. Shares in Macquarie Media Limited closed steady on Friday at $0.90.
TerraCom Limited (ASX:TER) has announced its wholly owned subsidiary Orion Mining has executed a contract with Link Mining Services for a full service mining contract at the Blair Athol coal mine. Link will pay TerraCom a total of $11.6 million, substantially reducing Terracom’s exposure to recommencement cost activities. Shares in TerraCom Limited closed 5.71 per cent up on Friday at $0.037.
8 companies are going ex-dividend today: New Hope Corporation (ASX:NHC) will pay 2 cents fully franked. TPG Telecom Limited (ASX:TPM) will pay 7.5 cents fully franked and WAM Research Limited (ASX:WAX) will pay 4.25 cents fully franked.
Gold has dropped $5.90 to $US1,252 an ounce for the December contract on Comex.
Silver has fallen $0.04 to $17.42 for December.
Copper has slipped $0.02 to $2.11 a pound for December.
Oil has dropped $0.22 to $US50.74 a barrel for November light crude in New York.