Wall Street posts modest gains: Aus shares to open lower

Market Reports

by Anna Napoli

Australian shares are set to open lower today, despite a surge in the price of oil and iron ore which lifted Wall Street yesterday. The major stock indices posted slight gains after recording steep losses on Monday. The energy and tech sectors led the gains in Dow Jones Industrial Average with Apple and Chevron rising 1.2 percent each.

Oil prices spiked after the State Department signalled the Trump administration will take a hardline approach to cutting off Iran's oil exports. Crude Oil increased by over 3 per cent to above $70.

Local economic news

Today the ABS releases the March quarter publication Engineering Construction Activity. The publication provides detail about where work is being done and how much activity is still to be completed.

Markets

Wall Street closed higher yesterday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.1 per cent to close at 24,283, the S&P 500 gained 0.2 per cent to close at 2,723 and the NASDAQ was up 0.4 per cent to close at 7562.

European markets closed mixed yesterday: London’s FTSE added 0.4 per cent, Paris fell 0.1 per cent and Frankfurt dropped 0.3 per cent.

Asian markets closed mixed yesterday, Tokyo’s Nikkei closed almost flat, adding 0.02 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng lost 0.3% and China’s Shanghai Composite was down 0.5%.

On the futures markets, the ASX futures are pointing to a 16 pts loss. Yesterday, the Australian share market closed lower with the S&P/ASX 200 Index losing 13 points to close at 6198.

Company news

McMillan Shakespeare Group (ASX:MMS) has announced a $18-24 million write down in relation to its continuing Retail Financial Services business.  The global provider of salary packaging and novated leasing services says the retail businesses, that involve the sale of warranty and insurance products have suffered a reduction in margins, increased competition and some regulatory uncertainty. The company has also announced the exit from its Money Now point of sale motor vehicle consumer finance business.  Shares in McMillan Shakespeare Group (ASX:MMS) closed 1.8 per cent lower to $16.56 yesterday.

Currencies

One Australian Dollar at 7:40AM was buying US73.92 cents, 55.92 Pence Sterling, 81.35 Yen and 63.48 Euro cents.

Commodities

Iron ore futures are pointing to 0.6% gain.
Gold has dropped $8.10 to $US1261 an ounce.
Silver has fallen 3c to $US16.38 an ounce.
Oil gained $2.60 to $US70.68 a barrel.

Cryptocurrencies

The three most traded cryptocurrencies are trading lower: Bitcoin has dropped 1.5 per cent to US$6,170, Ethereum has fallen 4.1 per cent to US$443 and EOS has lost 5.8 per cent to US$7.75.