Australian shares are set to open lower today following a mixed session on Wall Street on Friday. US stocks closed mostly lower with the energy and financial sectors leading the declines. Chrevron and Exxon Mobil were among the worst performers after a decline in the oil price weighed on the industry leaders. Meantime, lower interest rates pulled down bank stocks.
Global oil prices fell on news suggesting Saudi Arabia and Russia were discussing an easing of production cuts. BHP shed over 3 per cent following the news. Iron ore and aluminium are also down.
Local economic news:
On Wednesday, we can expect local council building approvals for April. The value of building approvals is currently at a record high. On Thursday the ABS releases business investment figures for the March quarter. Also on Thursday the Reserve Bank releases the monthly Financial Aggregates publication that includes the private sector credit measure. Finally, on Friday CoreLogic releases home price data for May. And based on the weekly observations home prices in all the state capitals were either flat or slightly lower during the month.
Wall Street closed mixed on Friday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 0.2 per cent to close at 24,753, the S&P 500 fell 0.2 per cent to close at 2,721 and the NASDAQ added 0.1 per cent to close at 7434.
European markets closed mixed on Friday: London’s FTSE added 0.2 per cent, Paris fell 0.1 per cent and Frankfurt gained 0.7 per cent.
Asian markets closed mixed on Friday: Tokyo’s Nikkei closed 0.1 per cent higher, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng dropped 0.7 per cent, and China’s Shanghai Composite lost 0.4 per cent.
Taking all of this into equation, the ASX futures are pointing to a 30pts drop. On Friday, the Australian share market closed slightly lower with the S&P/ASX 200 Index losing 4 points to close at 6033.
Construction and mining business, Watpac (ASX:WTP) has issued shareholders a scheme booklet regarding the proposed takeover of the company by BESIX Group. The takeover has been endorsed by Watpac’s board and the Independent Expert.
Under the scheme the company’s major shareholder BESIX will increase its shareholding from 21.1 per cent to 64.1 per cent.
Shareholders will vote on the proposed takeover on the 7th of June.
Shares in Watpac (ASX:WTP) closed 0.6 per cent lower to 85c on Friday
Just one company is going ex-dividend today:
Duluxgroup Limited (ASX: DLX) is paying 14 cents fully franked.
One Australian Dollar at 7:40AM was buying US75.62 cents, 56.81 Pence Sterling, 83.03 Yen and 64.70 Euro cents.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a 0.8 per cent drop.
Gold has lost 80c to $US1309 an ounce.
Silver has dropped 14c to $US16.55 an ounce.
Oil was down $2.83c to $US67.88 a barrel.
The three most traded cryptocurrencies are trading lower: Bitcoin has fallen 2.4 per cent to US$7341, Ethereum has lost 6 per cent to US$565 and EOS has dropped almost 2 per cent to US$12.42.