Wall St falls: Australian shares poised to open lower

Market Reports

by Anna Napoli

The U.S. markets halted a six-day rally as disappointing results from Walmart weighed on major indexes as the dollar pushed higher. Technology was the best performing sector, gains in Amazon and chip stocks helped the Nasdaq hold near unchanged. The Dow finished 255 points lower by the closing bell.

The ASX futures are down 28 points and Australian shares are poised to open lower.

Gold has dropped, and oil is up 0.36 per cent.

Local Economic News

Today we can expect the December quarter wages price index from the ABS. Analysts expect that wages rose by 0.5 per cent in the quarter.


Wall Street closed lower yesterday: The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 1 per cent to close at 24,965, the S&P 500 down 0.6 per cent to close at 2,716 and the NASDAQ lost 0.1 per cent to close at 7,234.

European markets closed mostly higher: London’s FTSE ended flat, Paris gained 0.6 per cent and Frankfurt climbed 0.8 per cent.

Asian markets closed lower: Tokyo’s Nikkei dropped 1 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 0.8 per cent, and China was closed.

And back home, the Australian share market closed lower yesterday: The S&P/ASX 200 Index closed flat at 5941.

Company News

The A2 Milk company (ASX:A2M) has announced its half year earnings have exceed those for the full 20-17 financial year. The company reported its net profit after tax increased by 150 per cent to NZD $98.5 million dollars for the half year to December 2017. The company announced a lift of 70 per cent in revenue to $435 million dollars when compared with the prior period. Earnings were also up 123 per cent on the same time last year. Shares in A2(ASX:A2M) closed 1.6 per cent  higher to $8.71

Reporting Season

Today we can expect results from: APA Group (ASX:APA) - Fortescue Metals Group (ASX:FMG) - LendLease Group (ASX:LLC) - Santos (ASX:STO) - St Barbara (ASX:SBM) - Stockland (ASX:SGP) - Sydney Airport (ASX:SYD) - Wesfarmers (ASX:WES).


Six companies are going ex-dividends today:
AMP (ASX:AMP) is paying 14.5 cents per share 90 per cent franked and Suncorp (ASX:SUN) is paying 33 cents per share fully franked.

One Australian Dollar at 8:45AM was buying 78.85 US cents, 56.35 Pence Sterling, 84.59 Yen and 63.92 Euro cents.

Gold has lost $24.60 to $US1,332 an ounce.
Silver has dropped $0.32 to $US16.48 an ounce.
Oil has gained $0.08 to $US61.63 a barrel.

The three most traded cryptocurrencies are trading mixed.  Bitcoin has gained 6 per cent to $11857, Tether is down 0.1 per cent to $0.99 and Ethereum down 1.8 per cent to $927.