Wagering up: Aus shares to follow Wall Street lead

Market Reports

by Jessica Amir

The Australian share market is poised to open higher, after US markets closed stronger on Friday following a stellar US jobs report. However, this morning the futures is pointing to a flat open. On Wall Street, the S&P and the Nasdaq snapped its 6-week winning streak, as investors were already looking ahead to the Federal Reserve’s meeting about interest rates on Wednesday.

The Dow Jones pushed about 45 points higher, the S&P500 gained a third of a percent with utilities underperformed and the tech heavy Nasdaq also advanced.

In more good news, after eight straight days of losses the gold price turned around and lifted on Friday after non-farm jobs soared in the US.

While we also saw the oil price continue to slide, tracking about 9% lower after news of a lift in US drilling, which added to concerns of oversupply.

US economic news 

235,000 non-farm jobs were added in February, beating economists’ forecasts that 190,000 jobs would be added. A lot of the steam came from the construction sector, which advanced by 58,000 jobs, which was the biggest gain in almost a decade. Manufacturing jobs also saw a strong improvement.

The unemployment rate dropped lower, to 4.7% for the first full month of President Donald Trump's term and hourly wages rose at 2.8% on annualised rate.

Local economic news

Today, we are expecting the Australian central bank to release the debit and credit card lending numbers for January.

On Tuesday the RBA, Assistant Governor, Michele Bullock will make a speech in Sydney at Bloomberg at 8.30am.

On Wednesday, we'll receive the housing, personal and business finance loan numbers for January.

And finally for the week, on Thursday, the ABS will release the all important employment and unemployment data for February, with some economists tipping the jobless rate will hold at 5.7%.


Wall Street closed up: The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.21 per cent to close at 20,903, the S&P 500 added 0.33 per cent to close at 2,373 and the NASDAQ gained 0.4 per cent to close at 5,862.

European markets closed mixed: London’s FTSE rose 0.4 per cent, Paris added 0.2 per cent and Frankfurt fell 0.1 per cent.
Asian markets closed mixed: Tokyo’s Nikkei added 1.5 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rose 0.3 per cent, and China’s Shanghai Composite fell 0.12 per cent.

Back home, the Australian share market closed higher on Friday. At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 34 points up to finish at 5,776. Over the week the index gained 46 points. On the futures market the SPI is 3 points up.

Company news 

Lithium Power International Limited (ASX:LPI) has reported a loss of around $980,000 for the six months to 31 December 2016. The loss was a increase on the prior corresponding period when the business listed on the ASX. In the six months to 31 December 2016 the lithium explorer and developer made significant advances in its stragy. It formed the Maricunga Joint Venture in Chile, was granted three further licences in Argentina, and expects to commence drilling in Western Australia in Q4 of the 2017 Financial year. Lithium Power International Limited (ASX:LPI) last traded 3.95% lower to 36.5 cents.


About 13 companies are going ex-dividend today: 
Acorn Capital Investment Fund (ASX:ACQ) is paying 1.5 cents fully franked.
Altium Limited (ASX:ALU) is paying 11 cents unfranked.
Lovisa Holdings Limited (ASX:LOV) is paying is 10 cents fully franked.
Sims Metal Management Ltd (ASX:SGM) is paying 20 cents fully franked.


Turning to currencies and the Australian Dollar at 7:30AM was buying 75.45 US cents, 62.06 Pence Sterling, 86.55 Yen and 70.67 Euro cents.


Gold gained $3.70 to $US1,205 an ounce.
Silver has risen 2 cents $17.05.
Oil has lost 92 cents to $US48.91 a barrel.

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