End of session losses: Aus shares to open lower

Market Reports

by Kathy Skantzos

Wall Street closed off the last trading session of the year on Friday in lower territory. A sudden sell off towards the end of the session erased the Dow’s gains for the week and saw the major indices drop just before the session closed. The S&P 500 closed lower, but gained 19 per cent over the year, which is the best it’s seen since 2013.

Energy and telecommunications underperformed for the year, while info technology and materials were the best performers for the year. Goldman Sachs shares dropped after announcing a $5 billion fourth quarter earnings drop expectation.

Trump signed the new US tax law on Friday to close off the year, which cuts corporate tax to 21 per cent from 35 per cent. The new tax law will likely stimulate the market from early this year.

Oil closed above $60 for the first time in two and a half years, a 12.5 per cent gain over the year, rising a per cent. Gold is up a per cent, finishing the year 13 per cent higher.

Local economic news

On Tuesday, we will have the AIG manufacturing index for December, which jumped 6 points in November, ending a streak of two straight declines.

CoreLogic’s home value index for December will also be out.

On Thursday, the AIG will release services index figures for December, which edged up in November, the ninth straight month of expansion.

On Friday, we’ll have import and export figures for November. Goods and services sales declined 3 per cent in October, while imports climbed 2 per cent.

We’ll also have new vehicle sales figures for December, which decreased 0.3 per cent compared to October.

Figures

Wall Street ended the week’s session lower: The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 0.5 per cent to close at 24,719, the S&P 500 lost 0.5 per cent to close at 2,674 and the NASDAQ lost 0.7 per cent to close at 6,903.

European markets closed mixed: London’s FTSE gained 0.9 per cent, Paris is flat and Frankfurt dropped half a per cent.

Asian markets also closed mixed: Tokyo’s Nikkei dropped 0.1 per cent while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 0.2 per cent and China’s Shanghai Composite increased 0.3 per cent.

And back home, the Australian share market closed lower yesterday: The S&P/ASX 200 Index closed 23 points down to finish at 6,065.

On the futures market the SPI is 26 points down.

Company news

Technology company Kyckr (ASX:KYK) has announced its Chief Executive Officer role will relocate to the United Kingdom to be closer to the company’s European and US markets. The company’s current CEO David Cassidy will remain in the role in Australia until 31 March 2018 but will not relocate to the UK due to family commitments. The company has identified several candidates in the UK to take on the CEO position. Tesco bank CEO Benny Higgins will chair Kyckr’s board from the UK from 1 March 2018. Shares in Kyckr (ASX:KYK) closed flat at 20 cents.

Milk producer Fonterra (ASX:FSF) has downwardly revised its milk forecast for the financial year by 4 per cent. The company said the hit is due to poor weather conditions which has impacted farmers. Due to the lower milk supply, the company has begun to take volumes of whole milk powder off its global trade. Shares in Fonterra (ASX:FSF) closed 2.7 per cent lower $5.73.

Currencies

One Australian Dollar at 7:30AM was buying 78.13 US cents, 57.91 Pence Sterling, 87.92 Yen and 65.11 Euro cents.

Commodities

Gold has gained $12.10 to $US1,309 an ounce.
Silver has gained $0.24 to $US17.15 an ounce.
Oil has gained $0.53 to $US60.42 a barrel.

Cryptocurrencies

Bitcoin has fallen 4 per cent in the last 24 hours to $13,644
Ethereum gained 2 per cent to $770
And Litecoin has fallen about 2.8 per cent to $228