All-time highs as tax plan gets closer: Aus shares to open higher

Market Reports

by Kathy Skantzos

Wall Street closed in the green as investors await the Senate’s tax plan vote which will take place later today. Stocks rallied, with the Dow finishing 331 points higher by close, hitting an all-time high above 24,000 points. The S&P 500 was also in record territory, and the Nasdaq recovered from yesterday’s 2 per cent loss with info tech performing well. Facebook, Amazon and Apple all traded higher.

On the commodities front, oil is tracking flat, as OPEC and Russia agree to extend oil production to the end of next year. Gold has dropped and iron ore is tracking 1.25 per cent higher, which should be a good indicator for the miners today.

US economic news

The Federal Reserve’s Beige Book showed a slight improvement in economic outlook with inflation pressures strengthening and the labour market tightening.

The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits decreased by 2000 to 238,000, as of 25 November. This is below market expectations of 240,000, the same as the previous week.

Personal income increased 0.4 per cent for October, the same as September and better than market expectations of 0.3 per cent. Disposable personal income went up 0.5 per cent. Personal spending went up 0.3 per cent for October, after 0.9 per cent in September, matching market expectations.

Local economic news

We can expect the manufacturing index for November. It fell 3.1 points in October due to a weak pace in factory activity.

CBA-Markit purchasing managers survey and CoreLogic home prices for November will also be released.

Figures

Wall Street closed up yesterday: The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 1.4 per cent to close at 24,272, the S&P 500 added 0.8 per cent to close at 2,648 and the NASDAQ gained 0.7 per cent to close at 6,874.

European markets closed lower: London’s FTSE dropped 0.9 per cent, Paris lost 0.5 per cent and Frankfurt dropped 0.3 per cent.

Asian markets closed mixed: Tokyo’s Nikkei added 0.6 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng dropped 1.5 per cent, and China’s Shanghai Composite lost 0.6 per cent.

And back home, the Australian share market closed lower yesterday: The S&P/ASX 200 Index closed 41 points down to finish at 5,970.

On the futures market the SPI is 22 points up.

Company news

Bank of Queensland (ASX:BOQ) has opened its capital notes offer following the successful completion of its bookbuild announced this week. The bank’s reinvestment offer which was subject to approval by shareholders was obtained at its annual general meeting yesterday. The reinvestment offer will proceed and will close on 15 December 2017. Shares in Bank of Queensland (ASX:BOQ) closed 1.15 per cent higher to $13.18.

Ex-dividends

One company is going ex-dividend today. US Residential Fund (ASX:USR) is paying 15 cents unfranked.

Currencies

One Australian Dollar at 8:30AM was buying 75.68 US cents, 55.94 Pence Sterling, 85.20 Yen and 63.54 Euro cents.

Commodities

Gold has lost $8.50 to $US1,278 an ounce.
Silver has lost $0.09 to $US16.47 an ounce.
Oil has gained $0.06 to $US57.36 a barrel.