The US markets finished the week off in positive territory and the ASX futures have taken a positive turn, so it should be a good start to the trading week this morning.
Despite the threat of the US government shutdown at the end of the week, Wall Street was not impacted. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq hit record highs. There were pull backs from IBM after reporting it could take a hit from the higher tax rate and American Express which posted its first earnings loss in 25 years, but the Dow still managed to push through and finish in the green. Companies are continuing to report better-than-expected earnings results, including Morgan Stanley, with last week’s results surpassing expectations.
Iron ore is tracking higher, oil has fallen less than a per cent, and gold is up.
Local economic news
On Monday, Commonwealth Bank will release the business sales index for December, which rose 0.6 per cent in November after continued growth over the past few months.
On Wednesday, we’ll have the skilled internet job vacancies for December, which increased 0.3 per cent in November, which has increased consecutively for more than a year.
On Thursday, the ABS will release labour data for December. Employment increased 25,000 in December and the unemployment rate is sitting at 5.4 per cent.
Westpac;s lending index will also be out, which edged up 0.1 per cent in November from the previous month.
Wall Street closed higher on Friday: The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.2 per cent to close at 26,072, the S&P 500 added 0.4 per cent to close at 2,810 and the NASDAQ is 0.6 per cent higher to close at 7,336.
European markets closed higher: London’s FTSE gained 0.4 per cent, Paris gained 0.6 per cent and Frankfurt increased 1.2 per cent.
Asian markets closed higher: Tokyo’s Nikkei gained 0.2 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng added 0.4 per cent, and China’s Shanghai Composite increased 0.4 per cent.
The Australian share market closed lower yesterday: The S&P/ASX 200 Index closed 9 points up to finish at 6,006.
On the futures market the SPI is 30 points up.
Coal miner Yancoal (ASX:YAL) reported a 92 per cent increase in quarterly saleable coal production to 8.65 million tonnes. This includes a 78 per cent contribution for the quarter from the Hunter Valley operations and Mount Thorley Warkworth assets acquired from Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) in September 2017. Sales volumes for the quarter increase 83 per cent compared to the same time last year. Shares in Yancoal (ASX:YAL) closed 6 per cent lower at 15.5 cents.
Online car sales platform Carsales.com (ASX:CAR) has announced the completion of the acquisition of the remaining 50 per cent of South Korea’s EncarSales.com. The takeover hives Carsales.com complete control and ownership of South Korea’s leading online auto classifieds business. Shares in Carsales.com (ASX:CAR) closed 1.5 per cent higher at $14.38 cents.
One company is going ex-dividend today:
Mirrabooka Investments (ASX:MIR) is paying 3.5 cents fully franked.
One Australian Dollar at 7:30AM was buying 79.97 US cents, 57.62 Pence Sterling, 88.56 Yen and 65.21 Euro cents.
Gold has gained $3.90 to $US1,331 an ounce.
Silver has gained $0.07 to $US17.02 an ounce.
Oil has lost $0.42 to $US63.47 a barrel.
The three most traded cryptocurrencies have fallen.
Bitcoin has dropped 12.6 per cent to US$11,325
Ethereum fell about 11 per cent to $1,028.
Ripple has dropped 15 per cent to $1.35.