Following positive leads from US markets, the Australian share market looks set to open higher. US stocks rose yesterday erasing earlier losses. Worries of a potential trade war seem to have eased and all three of the US major benchmarks were up with the utilities sector the star performer.
On the commodities front, global oil prices have risen while gold has dropped slightly.
Taking all of this into consideration, the ASX futures are pointing to a 64 point gain. Yesterday the Australian share market closed lower with the S&P/ASX 200 Index closing 34 points down at 5895.
Local economic news
The Reserve Bank board meets today, but no big changes are expected. Analysts believe interests rates are on hold until at least the end of 2018 due to retail deflation and modest wages growth.
Wall Street closed higher yesterday: The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 1.4 per cent to close at 24,875, the S&P 500 added 1.1 per cent to close at 2,721 and the NASDAQ gained 1.0 per cent to close at 7,331.
European markets closed higher: London’s FTSE added 0.7 per cent, Paris gained X 0.6 per cent and Frankfurt climbed 1.5 per cent.
Asian markets closed mixed: Tokyo’s Nikkei fell 0.7 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng dropped 2.3 per cent, and China’s Shanghai Composite added 0.1 per cent.
New Zealand media company NZME (ASX:NZM) has announced that the proposed merger between NZME and Fairfax Media’s Stuff Limited has been terminated.The company says new commercial terms will need to be agreed for the merger to proceed.The parties will continue with the court of appeal proceedings regarding the merger. If the appeal is successful the parties intend to negotiate a new agreement. Shares in NZME (ASX:NZM) closed 0.7 per cent higher at $0.72.
A swag of companies are going ex-dividend today: Bega Cheese (ASX:BGA) is paying 5.5 cents fully franked, while Downer EDI (ASX:DOW) is paying 13 cents 50 per cent franked. Nick Scali Furniture(ASX:NCK), Oil Search (ASX:OSH), Ramsay Healthcare (ASX:RHC) and Sonic Healthcare are some of the other companies going ex-dividend today.
One Australian Dollar at 7:20AM was buying $US77.63 cents, 56.09 Pence Sterling, 82.44 Yen and 62.95 Euro cents.
Gold has lost $2.40 to $US1321 an ounce.
Silver has lost $0.03 to $US16.44 an ounce.
Oil has gained $1.34 to $US62.59 a barrel.
The three most traded cryptocurrencies are trading mixed: Bitcoin has gained 1.3 per cent to US$11, 587, Tether has fallen about 0.2 per cent to US$0.99, and Ripple has gained about 1.5 per cent to US$0.98.