US markets take a turn from gains: Aus shares to open higher

Market Reports

by Kathy Skantzos

In the last day of trade before the Thanksgiving holiday in the US tomorrow, the US markets took a turn from yesterday’s gains, but despite this, the Australian share market is set towards opening in the green this morning with gold and futures tracking higher.

Amazon hit record highs, which bumped up the Nasdaq. This came after the tech company announced its cloud business is set for a deal with healthcare company Cerner, and before the Amazon Marketplace is set to open in Australia.

Following the Federal Reserve minutes being released, the Dow and S&P 500 finished lower at the closing bell. The greenback has also fallen with the Fed Reserve’s inflation worries.

The share price of Hewlett Packard dropped after its CEO announced she is stepping down. Tractor maker Deere went the other way after reporting better-than-expected quarterly earnings and revenue.

Oil is up nearly 2 per cent. Gold is also tracking higher and iron ore is up more than 3 per cent, setting the trading day up for a positive start for the mining and minerals companies.

US economic news

Consumer confidence in the US is sitting at 98.5 in November, lower than 100.7 in October, which was the strongest figure since January 2004. While it is a lower figure, it is better than expected from the market.

The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits fell by 13,000 to 239,000 last week after two weekly increases. This is slightly below market expectations of 240,000. Claims have been below 300,000 for 141 straight weeks, the longest stretch since 1970.

New orders of manufacturing goods dropped 1.2 per cent for the month of October, better than market expectations of 0.3 per cent. This comes after a 2.2 per cent increase in September.

Mortgage applications increased just 0.1 per cent last week after rising 3.1 per cent the previous week. Applications to purchase a home increase 5.3 per cent and refinance applications fell 4.8 per cent. The average 30-year mortgage rate increased to 4.2 per cent.


Wall Street closed mixed yesterday: The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 0.3 per cent to close at 23,526, the S&P 500 dropped 0.1 per cent to close at 2,597 and the NASDAQ gained 0.1 per cent to close at 6,867.

European markets closed mixed: London’s FTSE gained 0.1 per cent, Paris dropped 0.3 per cent and Frankfurt lost 1.2 per cent.

Asian markets closed up: Tokyo’s Nikkei added 0.5 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 0.6 per cent, and China’s Shanghai Composite gained 0.6 per cent also.

And back home, the Australian share market closed higher yesterday: The S&P/ASX 200 Index closed 23 points up to finish at 5,986.

On the futures market the SPI is 5 points up.

Company news

AFT Pharmaceuticals (ASX:AFP) announced operating revenue of $36.6 million in its half year financial results to September, a 23 per cent increase from the previous corresponding six months. This was offset by a $6.7 million operating loss as the company increased its research and development. Australian revenue grew by 38 per cent to $20 million, which makes up 55 per cent of the group’s operating revenue. Its Maxigesic product is being sold in ten countries with licences to sell in 124 countries, and further launches in progress. Shares in AFT Pharmaceuticals (ASX:AFP) last traded at $2.17.


4 companies are going ex-dividend today. Incitec Pivot (ASX:IPL) is paying 4.9 cents unfranked and Z Energy (ASX:ZEL) is paying 9.38 cents unfranked.


One Australian Dollar at 8:40AM was buying 76.21 US cents, 57.20 Pence Sterling, 84.74 Yen and 64.48 Euro cents.


Gold has gained $10.10 to $US1,296 an ounce.
Silver has gained $0.18 to $US17.24 an ounce.
Oil has gained $1.18 to $US58.01 a barrel.

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