Australian shares are set for a weaker open following a muted session in the US overnight. Wall Street closed little changed on Tuesday as markets await detail on US President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s talks in Singapore. Investors are also awaiting key central bank meetings this week. Yesterday was the first day of the Federal Reserve's two day meeting and analysts expect the US Central bank to announce a quarter point increase in interest rates.
AT&T shares rose half a per cent ahead of the US District Court's approval of its $85 billion bid for Time Warner. Shares of Twitter surged after JPMorgan raised its price target on higher than expected revenue growth.
Oil prices were mixed on Tuesday. OPEC released its monthly report and said that the oil market outlook for H2 18 is highly uncertain. Inventories fell to 26 million barrels below the 5- year average in April.
US economic news
The inflation rate in the US increased to 2.8 per cent in May from 2.5 per cent in April, climbing to a six year high. The consumer price index rose 0.2 per cent in May rising 2.8 per cent over the year. The Labor Department reported that gasoline and shelter were the largest contributors to the rising CPI. US treasury yields rose following the release of the data, with the yield on the ten year at around 2.96 per cent
Local Economic news
Today the Reserve Bank Governor delivers a speech on productivity and wages. Investors will be watching for any new views on the economy that could influence the timing of the next interest rate change.
Also due out today, the monthly Westpac and Melbourne Institute consumer confidence reading is released.
Wall Street closed mostly higher yesterday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended the session 0.01 per cent (2 points) lower to close at 25,321, the S&P 500 gained 0.2 per cent to close at 2,787 and the NASDAQ rose 0.6 per cent to close at 7704.
European markets closed lower yesterday: London’s FTSE lost 0.4 per cent, Paris fell 0.4 per cent and Frankfurt closed flat.
Asian markets closed higher yesterday: Tokyo’s Nikkei gained 0.3 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rose 0.1 per cent, and China’s Shanghai Composite added 0.9 per cent.
On the futures markets, the ASX futures are pointing to a 5 pts loss. Yesterday, the Australian share market closed higher with the S&P/ASX 200 Index adding 9 points to close at 6054.
Syrah Resources (ASX:SYR) has addressed media reports concerning attacks near its Balama Graphite Operation in Mozambique. The company says its operations are about 500 kilometres from where the attacks occurred and that there have been no such incidents at or near the Balama Operation.
The minerals and technology company says the safety of its people is the key priority and that well established security protocols are in place.
As a precaution the company has increased its monitoring and interaction with government authorities.
Shares in Syrah Resources (ASX:SYR) closed 6 per cent lower to $2.82 yesterday.
One company is going ex-dividend today.
Cimic Group (ASX: CIM) is paying 75c fully franked.
One Australian Dollar at 7:40AM was buying US75.77 cents, 56.67 Pence Sterling, 83.63 Yen and 64.52 Euro cents.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a 0.3 per cent loss.
Gold has lost $3.60 to $US1299.60 an ounce.
Silver has dropped 7c to $US16.89 an ounce.
Oil was down 13c to $US65.90 a barrel.
The three most traded cryptocurrencies are trading lower: Bitcoin has fallen 3.2 per cent to US$6,576, Ethereum has lost 5.4 per cent to US$493.50 and EOS has dropped 8.2 per cent to US$10.28.