Wall St takes a turn from gains: Aus shares to open lower

Market Reports

by Kathy Skantzos

The US markets finished lower yesterday after a holiday break on Monday, taking a turn from last week’s solid streak. The Dow reached 26,000 points for the first time during the session, and was up 283 points at the session’s high, but finished 10 points lower by close. The S&P 500 also traded above 2,800 for the first time during the session, but also ended lower.

The possibility of a federal government shutdown lurks after immigration policy discussions and Trump’s remarks about immigrant countries. Investors are waiting for Congress to pass a spending bill by the end of the week to avoid the shutdown.

Better-than-expected earnings results helped to buoy the market. Also, Merck shares jumped up nearly 6 per cent after announcing positive results for a cancer drug.

After finishing at a loss yesterday, the ASX is expected to continue to slide today. Weather conditions in Western Australia are also possibly affecting miners.

The euro has receded from a three-year high yesterday and cryptocurrencies have taken a landslide. Gold is higher, but oil has slipped.

US economic news

Consumer inflation expectations in the US increased to 2.82 per cent in December from 2.61 per cent in November 2017, as workers expect higher prices and earnings.

Local economic news

The ABS will release housing finance figures for November. The total value of dwelling finance commitments fell 0.3 per cent in October.

The ABS will also release building activity data for the September quarter. The value of total building work rose 0.3 per cent in the June 2017 quarter.


Wall Street closed lower yesterday: The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 0.04 per cent to close at 25,793, the S&P 500 fell 0.4 per cent to close at 2,776 and the NASDAQ lost 0.5 per cent to close at 7,224.

European markets closed mixed: London’s FTSE dropped 0.2 per cent, Paris lost gained 0.1 per cent and Frankfurt gained 0.4 per cent.

Asian markets closed higher: Tokyo’s Nikkei climbed 1 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng surged 1.8 per cent, and China’s Shanghai Composite gained 0.8 per cent.

And back home, the Australian share market closed lower yesterday: The S&P/ASX 200 Index closed 28 points down to finish at 6,049.

On the futures market the SPI has taken a 31 point slide.

Company news

Iron ore miner Mount Gibson Iron (ASX:MGX) has recorded steady quarterly and half-yearly sales to December 2017, with revenue reaching $48 million for the quarter’s ore sales revenue and $90 million for the half year. The miner said its Koolan Island restart project is progressing towards its first ore sales in early 2019 and its Iron Hill mine has been ramped up to full capacity. The company paid a fully franked dividend of 2 cents per share totaling $22 million distributed in October 2017. Shares in Mount Gibson Iron (ASX:MGX) closed flat yesterday at $0.43.


One company is going ex-dividend today: Abacus Property Group (ASX:ABP) is paying 9 cents unfranked.


One Australian Dollar at 8:30AM was buying 79.63 US cents, 57.74 Pence Sterling, 87.97 Yen and 64.94 Euro cents.


Gold has gained $3.90 to $US1,339 an ounce.
Silver has gained $0.08 to $US17.22 an ounce.
Oil has lost $0.47 to $US63.76 a barrel.


Bitcoin has lost 23 per cent in the last 24 hours to US$10,911.
Ethereum lost 26 per cent to US$986.
And Litecoin lost 24 per cent to US$181.

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