Australian shares look set to open flat this morning following a mixed session on Wall Street on Friday. President Trump pledged to lower drug prices which saw health care stocks plummet initially, but they bounced back and ended up leading gains. Merck, and United Health were among the top performers with both adding over 2 per cent. For the week the three major benchmarks all added over 2 per cent. The Dow Jones rose around 2.3 per cent – its biggest weekly gain since March. Energy stocks helped lift the major indices boosted by surging oil prices.
Local Economic news
Today the Reserve Bank releases data on credit and debit card lending and ATM transactions for March.
On Tuesday the ABS releases lending finance data
While on Wednesday all eyes will be on the latest quarterly Wage Price Index (WPI). Wage growth is crucial for the inflation and interest rate outlook.
On Thursday the ABS issues the April employment report. Job-creation has slowed in recent months, analysts expect a lift of around 20 000 for April.
Wall Street closed mixed on Friday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.4 per cent to close at 24,831, the S&P 500 closed 0.2 per cent higher at 2,728 and the NASDAQ lost 0.03 per cent to close at 7403.
European markets closed mixed on Friday: London’s FTSE ended 0.3 per cent higher, Paris lost 0.1 per cent and Frankfurt fell 0.2 per cent.
Asian markets closed also mixed on Friday: Tokyo’s Nikkei closed 1.2% higher, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 1.02 per cent, and China’s Shanghai Composite fell 0.4 per cent.
Taking all of this into equation, the ASX futures are pointing to a 4 points gain. On Friday, the Australian share market closed slightly lower with the S&P/ASX 200 Index closing 3 points lower to 6116.
OZ Minerals (ASX:OZL) has announced that Avanco Resources largest shareholder, Appian Natural Resources has now formally accepted OZ Minerals takeover offer.
Under the scheme OZ Minerals Brazil will acquire all of of Appian’s shares in Avanco.
The offer values Avanco at 17 cents per share, a price which OZ Minerals says is final in the absence of a competing proposal.
Meantime, funds management company, BlackRock have announced they have accepted the offer and will take up an 11.6 per cent shareholding in Avanco.
Shares in OZ Minerals (ASX:OZL) closed 0.8 per cent higher at $10.33 on Friday,
ANZ (ASX:ANZ) is paying 80 cents per share fully franked while Macquarie Group (ASX:MQG) is paying $3.20, 45 per cent franked.
One Australian Dollar at 7:40AM was buying US75.44 cents, 55.73 Pence Sterling, 82.51 Yen and 63.18 Euro cents.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a 1.4 per cent gain.
Gold has dropped $1.60 to $US1321 an ounce.
Silver has lost 1c to $US16.75 an ounce.
Oil has fallen 63c to $US70.68 a barrel.
The three most traded cryptocurrencies are trading higher: Bitcoin has gained 3.4 per cent to US$8761, Ethereum has risen 8.8 per cent to US$739 and EOS has added 8.5 per cent to US$15.17.