Commodities fall: Aus shares poised for flat open

Market Reports

by Jessica Amir

The Australian share market looks set to open flat according to the futures index, while a fall in oil, iron ore and gold could see our local bourse open in the red.

Stocks in the US closed mostly flat, but did nudge ever so slightly higher as Wall Street awaits key employment data. The market there is expecting 175,000 jobs to be added in February which will give the Federal Reserve impetus to potentially raise rates next Wednesday.

The Dow Jones rose 3 points with Johnson & Johnson contributing the most gains. The S&P 500 closed about breakeven while the tech heavy Nasdaq crept 0.02% higher.

US economic news
 

The US Import Price Index rose in 0.2 February. Economist expected a flat result, following January’s 0.6% rise in import prices.

Local economic news

We are expecting the Australian Bureau of Statistics to release the housing finance figures for January. The prior reading showed loans increased 0.4% month on month, while January's reading is expected to fall by 1%.

Markets

Wall Street closed flat: The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed flat, at 20,858, the S&P 500 added 0.1 per cent to close at 2,365 and the NASDAQ closed flat at 5,839.

European markets closed mixed: London’s FTSE closed 0.3 per cent lower, Paris gained 0.4 per cent and Frankfurt gained 0.1 per cent.

Asian markets closed mixed: Tokyo’s Nikkei added 0.3 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 1.2 per cent, and China’s Shanghai Composite lost 0.7 per cent.

And back home, the Australian share market closed lower on Thursday: At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 18 points down to finish at 5,741. On the futures market the SPI is 7 points higher.

Company news 

Magnis Resources Limited (ASX:MNS) has announced exploration costs for its graphite project in Tanzania, weighed down on its half year results for the period ending 31 December 2016. The Sydney based graphite producer reported a $5.96 million net loss for the half year ending December 2016, while its total income rose to $500 thousand for the period. While Magnis Resources generated positive lithium-ion battery results for the period it reported a 1.35 cents per share basic loss for the half year. Shares in Magnis Resources Limited (ASX:MNS) closed 0.87% lower to $0.57.

Ex-dividends

Two companies are going ex-dividend today:
GTN Limited (ASX:GTN) is paying 5.6 cents fully franked and
Wisetech Global Limited (ASX:WTC) is paying 1 cent fully franked.

Currencies

Te Australian Dollar at 8.30AM was buying 75.06 US cents, 61.67 Pence Sterling, 86.29 Yen and 70.97 Euro cents.

Commodities
Gold has lost $8.20 to $US1,200 an ounce.
Silver has fallen 32 cents to $16.98.
Oil has lost $0.62 to $US49.66 a barrel.
 

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