GE plummets, bringing markets down: Aus shares to open lower

Market Reports

by Kathy Skantzos

Following negative leads from US markets, the Australian share market looks set to open lower.

After a mostly positive day where Wall Street saw record gains, all major indexes plummeted at the closing bell, as investors got ready for the busiest week of the earnings season.

General Electric dropped nearly 7 per cent, its biggest drop in 6 years, after reporting earnings which fell short of market expectations. The Nasdaq finished lower after shares in Amazon, Facebook and Alphabet all declined.

To commodities, oil has steadied after Iraq supplies fell short and US oil drilling dropped, and the safe haven gold is up.

US economic news
 
The US Chicago Fed National Activity Index rose slightly to 0.17 after a drop the previous month, beating market expectations marginally. It’s the highest reading in 3 months.

Local economic news

We can expect the weekly consumer confidence report to be released today.

Figures

Wall Street closed lower yesterday: The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 0.2 per cent to close at 23,274, the S&P 500 lost 0.4 per cent to close at 2,565 and the NASDAQ closed 0.6 per cent lower to finish at 6,587.

European markets closed up: London’s FTSE gained 0.02 per cent, Paris is up 0.3 per cent and Frankfurt gained 0.1 per cent.

Asian markets closed mixed: Tokyo’s Nikkei added 1.1 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng dropped 0.6 per cent, and China’s Shanghai Composite gained 0.1 per cent.

And back home, the Australian share market closed lower yesterday: The S&P/ASX 200 Index closed 13 points down to finish at 5894.

On the futures market the SPI is 5 points down.

Company news

Seven Group Holdings (ASX:SVW) has completed its share purchase plan following the completion of a $375 million placement. The plan closed with applications totaling about $17 million, with a total of $392 million raised. Seven will issue more than 1.5 million new ordinary shares under the plan at $11.20 per share. Shares in Seven Group Holdings (ASX:SVW) last traded 2.45 per cent lower to $12.37.

Ex-dividends

2 companies are going ex-dividend today:

Mainstream Group (ASX:MAI) is paying 0.75 cents and Regional Express (ASX:REX) is paying 10 cents, both fully franked.

Currencies

One Australian Dollar at 7:40AM was buying 78.06 US cents, 59.15 Pence Sterling, 88.53 Yen and 66.45 Euro cents.

Commodities

Gold has gained $2.70 to $US1,283 an ounce.
Silver has gained $0.03 to $US17.11 an ounce.
Oil has gained $0.06 to $US51.90 a barrel.