Australian shares are set to fall at the open, amid continuing weakness in oil and a quiet overnight session. Yesterday the US and UK sharemarkets were closed for public holidays. On Monday the Australian share market had a lacklustre session finally closing lower. BHP Billiton (ASX:BHP) shares fell 2.9 per cent to $32.11, leading the market losses.
Global oil prices have dropped by around 1.5-2 per cent on expectations that major oil producers will lift oil supplies. This saw our energy sector shed almost 3 per cent yesterday.
Wall Street was closed yesterday.
European markets closed lower yesterday: London’s FTSE was closed, Paris fell 0.6 per cent and Frankfurt lost 0.6 per cent.
Asian markets closed mixed yesterday: Tokyo’s Nikkei closed 0.1 per cent higher, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 0.7 per cent, and China’s Shanghai Composite lost 0.2 per cent
The ASX futures are pointing to a 14pts drop. Yesterday, the Australian share market closed lower with the S&P/ASX 200 Index losing 29 points to close at 6004.
The takeover of Viralytics (ASX:VLA) by global pharmaceutical giant, Merck has received the green light from shareholders, who voted in support of the scheme yesterday.
The proposed acquisition worth $502 million was announced in February this year.
The scheme of arrangement is still subject to Federal Court approval and a hearing has been scheduled for the 4th of June.
Under the deal the company will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Merck and Merck will gain full rights to Viralytics flagship cancer treatment.
Shares in Viralytics (ASX:VLA) closed 0.3 per cent lower to $1.74 yesterday.
Just one company is going ex-dividend today:
Aristocrat Leisure (ASX: ALL) 19 cents fully franked.
One Australian Dollar at 7:40AM was buying US75.48 cents, 56.72 Pence Sterling, 82.56 Yen and 64.94 Euro cents.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a 0.3 per cent gain.
Gold has lost $6.30 to $US1303 an ounce.
Silver has dropped 7c to $US16.48 an ounce.
Oil was down $1.41c to $US66.47 a barrel.
The three most traded cryptocurrencies are trading lower: Bitcoin has fallen 2.1 per cent to US$7189, Ethereum has lost almost 8 per cent to US$523 and EOS has dropped 3 per cent to US$12.05.