Italy sparks market sell-off: ASX set to open higher

Market Reports

by Rachael Jones

A sell off yesterday was sparked by a political crisis in Italy - which has now somewhat been averted and now Australian shares are poised to open higher. There were fears about the future of the euro as Italy contemplated a eurosceptic government as Italian President Sergio Mattarella vetoed his finance minister and touted fresh elections at the end of the year. Wall Street had a brief rally as calm swept across Italy. BHP Billiton (ASX:BHP) and Rio (ASX:RIO) advanced. Oil rallied. Gold dropped and the Aussie dollar gained one per cent.

Figures from around the globe

Wall Street closed higher yesterday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 1.3 per cent to close at 24,668, the S&P 500 added 1.3 per cent to close at 2,724 and the NASDAQ rose 0.9 per cent to close at 7462.

European markets closed mixed yesterday: London’s FTSE added 0.8 per cent, Paris fell 0.2 per cent and Frankfurt gained 0.9 per cent.

Asian markets closed lower yesterday: Tokyo’s Nikkei closed 1.5 per cent lower, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng dropped 1.4 per cent, and China’s Shanghai Composite lost 2.5 per cent.

Taking all of this into equation, the ASX futures are pointing to a 40 pts gain. Yesterday, the Australian share market closed lower with the S&P/ASX 200 Index losing 29 points to close at 5985.

Company news 

WorleyParsons (ASX:WOR) has been awarded a contract by Tullow Oil to provide services for the onshore oil field development in Kenya. The Project comprises the development of two fields in the region to produce an estimated 60,000 barrels per day of oil which will be transported to Lamu, on the coast, via a 900km export pipeline. Under the contract, they will provide front end engineering design for the central processing facilities and will support Tullow Oil as part of a project management team. WorleyParsons provides expertise in engineering, procurement and construction and offers a wide range of consulting and advisory services.

Shares in WorleyParsons (ASX:WOR) closed 0.49 per cent lower to $16.13 yesterday.

Ex dividends

CSR (ASX:CSR) is paying 13.5c 75 percent franked
Orica (ASX:ORI) is paying 20c unfranked
Ruralco (ASX:RHL) is paying 9c fully franked

Currencies

One Australian Dollar at 7:40AM was buying US75.79 cents, 57.06 Pence Sterling, 82.53 Yen and 64.97 Euro cents.

Commodities

Iron ore futures are pointing to a 0.2 per cent gain.
Gold has gained $1.60 to $US1306 an ounce.
Silver has added 15c to $US16.52 an ounce.
Oil was up $1.50 to $US68.23 a barrel.

Cryptocurrencies

The three most traded cryptocurrencies are trading lower: Bitcoin has lost 1.92 per cent to US$7358, Ethereum has lost 3.1 per cent to US$550 and EOS has dropped 2.9 per cent to US$11.92.