Mixed performance for global equities: ASX to open flat

Market Reports

by David Chau

The Australian share market will open flat amid mixed leads from overseas.

In New York this morning, the Nasdaq closed at a new record high, the S&P 500 finished just above breakeven, and the Dow Jones fell. Most sectors finished in positive territory, though financials stocks were the worst performers.

Oil prices rebounded overnight and the US Energy Information Administration reported a sharp, unexpected rise last week in oil inventories by 13.8 million barrels.

The Australian dollar has also strengthened against the New Zealand (NZ) Dollar, after our Kiwi neigbours’ Reserve Bank left its official cash rate unchanged at 1.75%.  However, NZ’s central bank said in its policy statement that the NZ Dollar was too high, and it was in favour of weakening the currency.

Australian economic news

NAB will release its business confidence report for the fourth quarter of 2016.

Markets

Wall Street finished mixed this morning: The Dow Jones lost 0.2 per cent to 20,054 points, the S&P 500 added almost 0.1% at 2,295 and the NASDAQ was up nearly 0.2 per cent at 5,682.

European markets also finished mixed: London’s FTSE was flat, Paris gained 0.3 per cent and Frankfurt fell almost 0.1 per cent.
Asian markets finished higher though: Tokyo’s Nikkei advanced 0.5 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng lifted 0.7 per cent, and China’s Shanghai Composite was up 0.4 per cent.

The Australian share market finished higher yesterday: The S&P/ASX 200 Index was up 30 points to finish at 5,651.

On the futures market, the SPI is down by 1 point this morning.

Company news

Abacus Property Group (ASX:ABP), along with its joint venture partners (KKR and the Riverlee Group), has exchanged contracts to sell the World Trade Centre building in Melbourne for $267.5 million. Abacus has a 17.5% interest in this JV and is expecting the sale to yield an equity internal rate of return of over 30%. The company says settlement is scheduled for June 2017. Yesterday, shares in Abacus traded 1.75% higher at $2.90.

Currencies

The Australian Dollar at 8:40AM was buying $US0.7639, 60.94 Pence Sterling, 85.54 Yen and 71.44 Euro cents.

Commodities

Gold has gained $7.10 to $US1,243 an ounce.
Silver has risen 2 cents to $17.78 an ounce.
Oil has gained $1.00 to $US52.41 a barrel.