US markets rally on tax cuts: Aus shares set to open higher

Market Reports

by Jessica Ellerm

Following positive leads from US markets, the Australian share market looks set to open higher. US equities rallied on Thursday as a number of high profile companies indicated they would look to invest in construction and higher wages off the back of lower corporate taxes. Financials and energy posted strong gains, with all indexes trading just below record highs.

US economic news

The Commerce Department’s latest GDP figures show the US economy expanded by 3.2 per cent in the third quarter of 2017. It marks the first time since 2014 that the US has experienced two consecutive quarters of growth of 3 per cent or more. The jobs front was less rosy, with the number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits rising slightly last week by 20,000 to 245,000.

Economic news

Due out today are new home sales from HIA and private sector credit data.

Markets

Wall Street closed up yesterday: The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.23 per cent to close at 24,782 the S&P 500 added 0.20 per cent to close at 2,685 and the NASDAQ lifted 0.06 per cent to close at 6,965.

European markets closed up: London’s FTSE gained 1.5 per cent, Paris added 0.62 per cent and Frankfurt rose 0.31 per cent.

Asian markets closed mixed: Tokyo’s Nikkei fell 0.11 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng added 0.45 per cent, and China’s Shanghai Composite rose 0.38 per cent.

The Australian share market closed lower yesterday: The S&P/ASX 200 Index closed 15 points down to finish at 6,060.

On the futures market the SPI is 13 points up.

Company news

New Zealand’s Meridian Energy (ASX:MEZ) has announced its subsidiary Meridian Energy Australia Pty Ltd has entered into a conditional agreement with Trustpower Limited for the purchase of GSP Energy Pty Ltd. GSP operates three hydro power stations in Australia, with Meridian looking to use the renewable energy assets to support its growing retail business. The deal is subject to Foreign Investment Review Board approval. Shares in Meridian Energy (ASX:MEZ) closed 0.37 per cent higher yesterday at $2.69.

Currencies

One Australian Dollar at 8:30AM was buying $US77.04 cents, 57.56 Pence Sterling, 87.27 Yen and 64.88 Euro cents.

Commodities

Gold has gained $0.80 to $US1,270 an ounce.
Silver has lost $0.09 to $US16.18 an ounce.
Oil has gained $0.15 to $US58.24 a barrel.

Cryptocurrencies

Bitcoin has fallen 6.76 per cent in the last 24 hours to $15,512
Ethereum has fallen about 2.8 per cent to $795
Litecoin has dropped about 3.46 per cent to $306
 

Jessica Ellerm

Finance News Network
Jessica joined FNN in April 2016 and presents the Australian Share Market Outlook, and reports on the morning's leading business stories. Alongside FNN Jessica is a fintech industry commentator, writing for her own blog and a number of international online publications.