Trade war tensions rattle Wall Street: Aus shares to open flat

Market Reports

by Anna Napoli

Australian futures are pointing to a flat open this morning after wall street pared back losses but still finished the day in the red on Friday. US mkts ended lower as investors worried about an escalating trade war between the US and China. The White House announced tariffs on $50 billion of imports from China, and China's almost-immediate response was a promise to retaliate with tariffs of its own. Trade-dependent stocks such as Boeing and Caterpillar fell the most while energy stocks dropped in response to a lower oil price.

US treasury yields fell in response to the news as investors favoured safe-haven US government bonds in preference to equities and commodities.

Local economic news

The tourist arrival figures for April are released while on Tuesday the ABS releases its publication Residential Property Price Indexes. On Wednesday data on skilled vacancies is released and Finally on Thursday, the ABS issues the population data for the December quarter as well as detailed figures on the labour market.

Markets

Wall Street closed lower on Friday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended the session 0.3 per cent lower to close at 25,090, the S&P 500 lost 0.1 per cent to close at 2,780 and the NASDAQ fell 0.2 per cent to close at 7746.

European markets closed lower on Friday: London’s FTSE lost 1.7 per cent, Paris fell 0.5 per cent and Frankfurt was down 0.7 per cent.

Asian markets closed mixed on Friday: Tokyo’s Nikkei gained 0.5 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 0.4 per cent, and China’s Shanghai Composite was down 0.7 per cent.

On the futures markets, the ASX futures are flat. On Friday, the Australian share market closed higher with the S&P/ASX 200 Index gaining 77 points to close at 6094.

Company news

Cimic Group (ASX:CIM) has announced its 50 per cent owned associate Ventia has been awarded a contract to deliver Australia’s National broadband network.

Visionstream is a division of services company Ventia and will construct fibre to the curb technology to over 400 000 premises across Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney over the next two years.

The work, performed under nbn’s Multi Technology Master Agreement is expected to generate about $390 million in revenue

Visionstream’s capabilities span the range of services to the telco industry across Australia and New Zealand.

Shares in Cimic Group (ASX:CIM) closed 1.4 per cent higher $41.04 on Friday.

Currencies

One Australian Dollar at 7:40AM was buying US74.44 cents, 56.09 Pence Sterling, 82.41 Yen and 64.21 Euro cents.

Commodities

Gold has lost $29.80 to $US1279 an ounce.
Silver has fallen 78c to $US16.48 an ounce.
Oil dropped $1.84 to $US64.85 a barrel.

Cryptocurrencies

The three most traded cryptocurrencies are trading mixed: Bitcoin has dropped 0.3 per cent to US$6,545, Ethereum has gained 0.05 per cent to US$508.97 and EOS has fallen 1.7 per cent to US$10.52.