US markets closed for holiday: Aus shares to see hesitant start

Market Reports

by Kathy Skantzos

Trade has been lighter than usual as markets in the US were closed yesterday for the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. European markets closed in the red, and Asian markets were mostly lower, except for a rise in the Nikkei. Friday’s session on Wall Street finished in the green, hitting record levels to finish the week, which had a reasonable impact on the ASX yesterday, finishing slightly higher. Today, the futures are indicating a slide into the red.

The US dollar has hit a 3-year low against other currencies, which has in turn bumped up the gold price, which has hit the highest price in four months. The oil price continues to increase due to production cuts, which is having a positive impact on the energy sector. Iron ore is sitting unchanged today.

Local economic news

The ABS will release new motor vehicle sales figures for December, which increased in November by 0.1 per cent month on month.


Wall Street was closed yesterday but finished in the green on Friday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.9 per cent to close at 25,803, the S&P 500 added 0.7 per cent to close at 2,786 and the NASDAQ gained 0.7 per cent to close at 7,261.

European markets closed lower: London’s FTSE dropped 0.1 per cent, Paris lost 0.1 per cent and Frankfurt fell 0.3 per cent.

Asian markets closed mostly lower: Tokyo’s Nikkei added 0.3 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng dropped 0.2 per cent, and China’s Shanghai Composite dropped 0.5 per cent.

And back home, the Australian share market closed higher yesterday: The S&P/ASX 200 Index closed 7 points up to finish at 6,077.

On the futures market the SPI is 13 points lower.

Company news

Food and beverage company Bellamy’s (ASX:BAL) has upgraded its full year FY2018 guidance for its core business from 15-20 per cent to a revised target of 30-35 per cent revenue growth for FY2017. EBITDA margin guidance has also been revised from 17-20 per cent to 20-23 per cent, driven by the impact of stronger revenue growth. The guidance excludes the Camperdown business which is forecast to generate an EBITDA loss of $1-2 million for FY2018. The company is in an agreement to acquire the final 10 per cent in Camperdown after completing a 90 per cent takeover in July 2017. The infant formula company said it expects revenue in the first half of FY2018 to be higher than the second half due to seasonal impacts and $18 million worth of sales expected in the first half. Shares in Bellamy’s (ASX:BAL) closed 5.89 per cent higher yesterday at $10.96.


One company is going ex-dividend today: Plato Inc (ASX:PL8) is paying 0.45 cents fully franked.


One Australian Dollar at 7:30AM was buying 79.69 US cents, 57.79 Pence Sterling, 88.04 Yen and 64.98 Euro cents.


Gold has gained $5.60 to $US1,341 an ounce.
Silver has gained $0.23 to $US17.37 an ounce.
Oil has gained $0.52 to $US64.75 a barrel.


Bitcoin gained 4.2 per cent in the last 24 hours to $14,176.
Ethereum is trading flat at $1,331.
Litecoin has fallen about 0.7 per cent to $239.

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