In the green: Aus shares to open higher

Market Reports

by Kathy Skantzos

Despite North Korea firing a ballistic missile, Wall Street closed in the green with all the major indices hitting record highs. The ASX is set for a positive day of trade. The markets were lifted by news the Senate is getting closer to passing the tax reform after approving the tax plan yesterday. The Dow closed 256 points higher, and the S&P 500 and Nasdaq also saw gains. Financials rallied, with Bank of America and Citigroup higher. The US dollar is still strong.

On the commodities front, gold is lower and oil is tracking lower ahead of OPEC meetings tomorrow. Iron ore is sitting flat.

US economic news

Wholesale inventories dropped 0.4 per cent in October over the prior month, the first fall in 6 months, missing market expectations of 0.5 per cent after 0.1 per cent gain in September.

The US Redbook Index increased 4.8 per cent last week over the same week in the previous year and dropped 0.2 per cent month on month.

The home price index of metropolitan areas in the US rose 6.2 per cent year on year in September, higher than 5.8 per cent in August and slightly higher than market expectations of 6.1 per cent, with Seattle leading the price rise. The national index also went up 6.2 per cent from 5.9 per cent previously.

The Richmond Fed Manufacturing Index increased to 30 in November from 12 in October, the highest reading on record, beating market expectations of 14.

Figures

Wall Street closed up yesterday: The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 1.1 per cent to close at 23,837, the S&P 500 added 1 per cent to close at 2,627 and the NASDAQ gained 0.5 per cent to close at 6,912.

European markets closed up: London’s FTSE gained 1 per cent, Paris gained 0.6 per cent and Frankfurt gained 0.5 per cent.

Asian markets closed mixed: Tokyo’s Nikkei dropped 0.04 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng dropped 0.02 per cent, and China’s Shanghai Composite gained 0.3 per cent.

And back home, the Australian share market closed lower yesterday: The S&P/ASX 200 Index closed 5 points down to finish at 5,984.

On the futures market the SPI is 40 points up.

Company news

Galaxy Resources (ASX:GXY) has signed long-term offtake agreements for a minimum of 200,000 tonnes per annum of lithium concentrate with multiple customers in Asia over five years. All the planned lithium concentrate production from Mt Cattlin in Western Australia has been sold, with the cost based on 2018 pricing. The sale of lithium chemical products to the end-user market will begin in 2018. Shares in Galaxy Resources (ASX:GXY) closed 2.71 per cent lower to $3.59.

Ex-dividends

4 companies are going ex-dividend today:

ALS (ASX:ALO) is paying 8 cents, 40 per cent franked,
Aurora (ASX:AOR) is paying 0.33 cents, 48.48 per cent franked,
GrainCorp (ASX:GNC) is paying 15 cents, fully franked,
Keybridge Capital (ASX:KBC) is paying 0.5 cents, fully franked.

Currencies

One Australian Dollar at 8:40AM was buying 75.98 US cents, 56.90 Pence Sterling, 84.63 Yen and 64.16 Euro cents.

Commodities

Gold has lost $0.90 to $US1,298 an ounce.
Silver has lost $0.21 to $US16.91 an ounce.
Oil has lost $0.46 to $US57.65 a barrel.