Following positive leads the ASX looks set to open higher this morning. US equities continue to be buoyed by what many analysts are calling the ‘Trump Trade’, with markets posting another day of record highs. Meanwhile in Europe, the ECB announced it would extend its QE program until the end of next year, adding certainty to continued monetary policy stimulus within the European region.
US economic news
Initial jobless claims fell by 10,000 last week to 258,000. It is the 92nd straight week claims have been below 300,000.
Wall Street closed up on Thursday: The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.3 per cent to close at 19,615, the S&P 500 gained 0.2 per cent to close at 2,246 and the NASDAQ jumped 0.4 per cent to close at 5,417.
European markets closed higher: London’s FTSE climbed 0.4 per cent, Paris increased 0.9 per cent and Frankfurt surged 1.75 per cent.
Asian markets closed mixed: Tokyo’s Nikkei gained 1.5 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rose 0.3 per cent, and China’s Shanghai Composite dropped 0.2 per cent.
The Australian share market closed higher on Thursday. The S&P/ASX 200 Index added 66 points to finish at 5,544. On the futures market the SPI is 16 points up.
The Australian Dollar at 8:15AM was buying $US74.6 cents, 59.3 Pence Sterling, 85.05 Yen and 70.31 Euro cents.
Local economic news
Due out today from the Australian Bureau of Statistics is home loan data. Economists are tipping a 1 percent drop in the number of new home loans that were granted in October.
Paragon Care Limited (ASX:PGC) has announced it has entered into a supply agreement with Total Face Group. Paragon will supply a range of product and service options including consumables, capital equipment and devices. Shares in Paragon Care Limited closed 1.80 percent higher yesterday at $0.85.
New Hope Corporation Limited (ASX:NHC) has announced loading operations at its Queensland Bulk Handling Coal Terminal have recommenced. Following a severe storm on the 15 November the terminal’s ship loader was damaged, rendering it inoperable. Shares in New Hope Corporation Limited closed 4.14 percent higher yesterday at $1.76.
Gold has dropped $4.60 at $US1,173 an ounce for the February contract on Comex.
Silver has fallen $0.20 to $17.08 for March.
Copper is down 2 cents to $2.63 a pound for March.
Oil has added $1.05 to $US50.82 a barrel for January light crude in New York.