Flat Friday: Aus shares to open flat

Market Reports

by Jessica Amir

The Australian share market looks set to open flat this morning, following mostly unexciting leads from US markets as investors await Friday’s US payroll data.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 6 points, with UnitedHealth Group weighing down the index. The S&P 500 pushed higher with real estate outperforming while telecommunications fell 1.2%, leading the decliners. The tech heavy Nasdaq closed lower.

US economic news:

US employers announce 45,934 job cuts in January. An increase of 37% from December 2016, amid corporate downsizing particularly in the retail sector. It’s also the highest amount of job cuts in 9 months according to global outplacement firm, Challenger, Gray and Christmas.

Local economic news due out today

We can expect the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) to report its New Car Sales numbers for January at 11.30am. 

Markets

Wall Street closed mixed yesterday: The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 0.03 per cent to close at 19,885, the S&P 500 gained 0.06 per cent to close at 2,281 and the NASDAQ fell 0.11 per cent to close at 5,636.

European markets closed mixed: London’s FTSE closed higher 0.47 per cent, Paris closed almost flat, down 0.01 per cent and Frankfurt fell 0.27 per cent.

Asian markets also closed mixed: Tokyo’s Nikkei shed 1.22 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng slid 0.57 per cent, and China’s Shanghai Composite gained 0.31 per cent.

Back home, the Australian share market closed lower yesterday: The S&P/ASX 200 Index closed 8 points down to finish at 5,645. On the futures market the SPI is 6 points higher.

Company News

After the market close yesterday Seven West Media Limited (ASX:SWM) announced its non-executive director, Sheila McGregor has resigned. Ms McGregor joined the board in June 2015. The media company thanked her for her service to the board and wished her well for the future. Shares in Seven West Media closed 0.6% lower yesterday to 82.5 cents.

Ex-dividends

One company is going ex-dividend today. Advanced Share Limited (ASX:ASW) is paying 2.1 cents fully franked.

Currencies

The Australian Dollar at 8.20am was buying $US0.7662, 61.13 Pence Sterling, 86.40 Yen and 71.21 Euro cents.

Commodities

Gold has gained $9.90 to $US1,218 an ounce.
Silver has lifted 3 cents to $17.48 an ounce.
Oil has shed 18 cents to $US53.70 a barrel.

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