Outlook: ASX set for soft open

Market Reports

by Lee Brooks

ASX set for soft open

The Australian share market has a negative lead from the US where stocks retreated from buoyant highs as concerns over equity valuations and uncertainty over some of the Free Trade policies of President-elect Donald Trump gave some investors pause for thought.
A Senate hearing on cyber-security threats and question over Russia’s perceived interference in the presidential election also sent investor money from stocks to safe havens such as gold.

US Economic News

The ADP National Employment report showed that just 153,000 jobs were added in December, well below market expectations of 170,000 and also well below the 215,000 jobs added in November. The disappointing numbers came in amid hope of stronger growth under the new president.

Meanwhile the Institute for Supply Management says service sector growth remains strong. The index stayed at 57.2 in December matching the high level for the year. Any reading above 50 shows advancement, below 50, contraction.

Markets

Wall Street finished mixed overnight: The Dow Jones slipped 0.2% to close at 19,899, the S&P 500 was down 0.1% at 2,269, while the NASDAQ is up 0.2% to close at 5,488.

European markets finished higherl: However London’s FTSE , Paris and Frankfurt were only slightly positive.

Asian markets were mixed: the Nikkei retreated 0.4%, the Hang Seng advanced 1.5 per cent, while the Shanghai Composite was 0.2 per cent higher.

The Australian share market went on a tiny run yesterday, the ASX 200 closing 17 points higher at 5,753. This morning, on the futures market the SPI is up 9 points.

Currencies

The Australian Dollar at 8.25am is buying 73.46 US cents, 59.16 Pence, 84.79 Yen and 69.28 Euro cents.

Australian Economic News

Due out later today are Balance of Trade figures from the Bureau of Statistics including exports and import for November.

Company news

CBL Corporation Limited (ASX:CBL) says it has successfully completed on its NZ$150 million acquisition of it’s largest client. Securities and Financial Solutions Europe is France’s largest specialist producer of construction-sector insurance and alongside IMS Expert Europe will provide important strategic benefits for CBL. Shares in CBL last traded at $3.47.

Ex-dividends

Three companies are going ex-dividend today. Aberdeen Leaders will pay 1 cent fully-franked. Metro Performance Glass will pay 3.4 cents with no franking and Programmed Maintenance Services will pay 3.5 cents fully-franked.

Commodities

Gold is up $16.70 to $US1,181 an ounce.
Silver has gained 9 cents to $16.64.
Copper is down 2 cents at $2.54.
Oil is up $0.45 to US$53.71 per barrel.

 

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