Steep Wall St gains amid strong earnings: Aus shares to open higher

Market Reports

by Jessica Amir

The Australian share market is tipped to sharply advance ahead at the open following Wall Street’s steep climb amid strong earnings reports. The tech heavy Nasdaq soared above the 6,000 mark for the first time ever with giants like Amazon, Facebook, Netflix, Alphabet and Apple fueling the gains.

The broader Dow Jones briefly pushed above the 21,000 mark before it closed 200 points higher on the back of strong quarterly results in Caterpillar and McDonalds.

Meanwhile, the oil price has snapped its 6-day losing streak, also welcome news for our energy companies today.

US economic news

US house prices are moving on up. The S&P/Case-Shiller National Home Price Index rose 5.8% in February, which was 0.1% more than analysts expected. In fact, it’s the fastest pace in nearly three years with prices rising on the back of continuing homebuyer demand.

And, the US Consumer Confidence Index has fallen to a reading of 120.3 in April. The lag follows the March reading of 125.6, which was its highest spike since December 2000.

Local economic news 

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) will release the quarterly Consumer Price Index, which is the main inflationary measure in Australia. For the March quarter, we are expecting the annual headline rate of inflation to be back in the Reserve Bank’s 2-3 per cent target zone for the first time in 2½ years, thanks to a rise in petrol prices. CPI is tipped to rise 0.6 per cent, which will lift the annual inflation rate to 2.3 per cent, up from 1.5 per cent. And that could give impetus to the RBA to lift rates. But, how that will unravels remains to be seen.

Markets 

To the figures: Wall Street closed up higher on Tuesday: The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 1.1 per cent to close at 20,996, the S&P 500 added 0.6 per cent to close at 2,389 and the NASDAQ gained 0.7 per cent to close at 6,025.

European markets closed higher: London’s FTSE gained 0.2 per cent, Paris advanced 0.2 per cent and Frankfurt gained 0.1 per cent.

Asian markets also closed higher: Tokyo’s Nikkei added 1.1 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng lifted 1.3 per cent, and China’s Shanghai Composite advanced 0.2 per cent.

And back home, the Australian share market was closed yesterday: However The S&P/ASX 200 Index closed 18 points higher on Monday to finish at 5,872.

On the futures market the SPI is 25 points higher.

Company news

Zeta Resources Limited (ASX:ZER) has announced it has increased its takeover offer of Bligh Resources Limited (ASX:BGH) from 3.5 cents to 3.8 cents per share. The oil, gas and metal producer’s takeover offer is for all of the fully paid ordinary shares in Bligh Resources Limited (ASX:BGH) that it doesn’t already own. The offer is also subject to Bligh Resources general meeting, where shareholders will consider the Saracen Minerals (ASX:SAR) purchase of the Bundarra gold project. Zeta Resources Limited (ASX:ZER) last traded at $0.40.

Ex-dividends

Two companies are going ex-dividend today: Countplus Limited (ASX:CUP) is paying 1 cent fully franked and Katana Capital (ASX:KAT) 0.5 cents 50% franked.

Currencies

The Australian Dollar at 7:30AM was buying 75.35 US cents, 58.73 Pence Sterling, 83.72 Yen and 68.97 Euro cents.

Commodities

Gold has lost $12.30 to $US1,266 an ounce.
Silver has fallen 30 cents to US$17.63 .
Oil has gained 9 cents to $US49.36 a barrel.
 

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