Wall St in the red, but iron ore soars: Aus shares to open higher

Market Reports

by Kathy Skantzos

Wall Street was in selling territory on Friday, with the major indices finishing in the red. Gains were erased after Michael Flynn pled guilty in the FBI-Russia investigation. The dollar was also weaker. In Australia, the futures are trending lower, but iron ore has soared 5.5 per cent higher, which could see commodities lifting the market at the start of the week. Oil and gold are also tracking higher.

Local economic news

On Monday, business indicators for September quarter will be released. Business inventories are expected to increase 0.5 per cent and corporate profits are expected to increase after a 4.5 per cent drop last quarter. Job advertisements figures for November will be out, which rose 1.4 per cent in October. The HIA will release new home sales, which declined 6 per cent in September.

On Tuesday, the AIG services index for November will be out, which dropped in October. Retail trade for October will be out, which was flat in September and is expected to increase 0.3 per cent for November. The Reserve Bank will have its board meeting, followed by a speech by the Assistant Governor.

On Wednesday, we will see economic growth data for the September quarter. GDP grew a strong 0.8 per cent in June quarter.

On, Thursday, the ABS will release international trade figures for October. Surplus doubled to $1.75 billion in September, beating market expectations. Exports had increased 3 per cent and imports were flat. AIG’s construction index for November will be out which dropped in October.

On Friday, we will see the housing finance figures for October, which fell 0.1 per cent in September.

Figures

Wall Street closed lower on Friday: The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 0.2 per cent to close at 24,232, the S&P 500 lost 0.2 per cent to close at 2,642 and the NASDAQ lost 0.4 per cent to close at 6,848.

European markets closed lower: London’s FTSE dropped 0.4 per cent, Paris lost 1 per cent and Frankfurt dropped 1.25 per cent.

Asian markets closed mixed: Tokyo’s Nikkei added 0.4 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng dropped 0.35 per cent, and China’s Shanghai Composite was flat.

And back home, the Australian share market closed higher on Friday: The S&P/ASX 200 Index closed 20 points up to finish at 5,990, up 7 points over the week.

On the futures market the SPI is 6 points down.

Company news

Tabcorp (ASX:TAH) and Tatts (ASX:TTS) have agreed to waive the condition precedent relating to competition approvals in the proposed combination of the two companies. This comes following the ACCC’s confirmation on Friday that it does not intend to seek judicial review of the Australian Competition Tribunal’s decision to authorise the proposed combination. Shares in Tabcorp (ASX:TAH) closed 1.44 per cent higher to $4.92.

Software as a Service (SaaS) company GetSwift (ASX:GSW) has signed a global services agreement with Amazon. The company also announced on Friday it has signed a global multi-year partnership with Yum! brands, a Fortune 500 restaurant corporation. Shares in GetSwift (ASX:GSW) closed 83.67 per cent higher to $3.60.

Ex-dividends

Two companies are going ex-dividend today. Evolve Education Group (ASX:EVO) is paying 2.26 cents and MSC Services (ASX:MSG) is paying 0.1 cents, both unfranked.

Currencies

One Australian Dollar at 7:40AM was buying 75.95 US cents, 56.55 Pence Sterling, 85.84 Yen and 64.06 Euro cents.

Commodities

Gold has gained $5.60 to $US1,282 an ounce.
Silver has lost $0.09 to $US16.39 an ounce.
Oil has gained $0.96 to $US58.36 a barrel.