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.
Due out today are new home sales from HIA and private sector credit data.
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.
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.
One Australian Dollar at 8:30AM was buying $US77.04 cents, 57.56 Pence Sterling, 87.27 Yen and 64.88 Euro cents.
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.
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