Australian shares are set to open higher this morning bolstered by a strong session in the US overnight. The Dow Jones has posted a four day winning streak as the latest corporate earnings season kicks off. The Dow rose 143 points strengthened by strong results from DowDuPont and Proctor and Gamble. Pepsi’s shares rose over 4 per cent after the soft drink maker posted better than expected results. Meantime, Tesla shares were up as much as 2.7 percent before holding 1.2 percent higher on news the company is planning to build a massive plant in China.
Oil prices rose on Tuesday due to growing supply outages, with international benchmark Brent crude trading near a multi-year high. Gold prices were pushed lower, weighed down by a stronger U.S. dollar.
In geopolitical news, NATO is meeting in Brussels today and it looks set to be a tense summit with President Donald Trump demanding NATO allies reimburse the US for defence costs. Meantime, there are reports President Trump is preparing to release a list of an additional $200 billion in Chinese products to be hit with tariffs.
Wall Street closed higher yesterday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.6 per cent to close at 24,920, the S&P 500 closed 0.4 per cent higher to close at 2,794 and the NASDAQ was up slightly, 0.04 per cent to close at 7759.
European markets closed higher yesterday: London’s FTSE gained 0.1 per cent, Paris added 0.7 per cent and Frankfurt was up 0.5 per cent.
Asian markets closed mixed, Tokyo’s Nikkei added 0.7%, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 0.02% and China’s Shanghai Composite was up 0.4%.
On the futures markets, the ASX futures are pointing to a 16pts gain. Yesterday, the Australian share market closed lower with the S&P/ASX 200 Index falling 28 points to close at 6258.
There’s been another twist in the takeover battle for Gateway Lifestyle Group (ASX:GTY), US bidder Hometown has taken its increased offer of $2.30 per stapled security off the table. In a statement released last night Hometown confirmed it is not proceeding with the conditional price increase of 5 cents as the companies could not reach agreement on the terms of the bid implementation agreement. Gateway said it believed the bid conditions would have unduly constrained its ability to operate the business in the interests of share holders. Hometown will continue with its original offer of $2.25 per stapled security. Meantime, there has been speculation in the media that the other interested bidder, Brookfield is about to pull out. Gateway is yet to comment on the reports. Shares in Gateway Lifestyle Group (ASX:GTY) closed flat at $2.33 yesterday.
One Australian Dollar at 7:40AM was buying US74.34 cents, 56.04 Pence Sterling, 82.48 Yen and 63.37 Euro cents.
Iron ore futures are pointing to 0.6% loss.
Gold has lost $3.80 to $US1256 an ounce.
Silver has dropped 5c to $US16.09 an ounce.
Oil was up 36c to $US74.21 a barrel.
The three most traded cryptocurrencies are trading lower: Bitcoin has lost 5.5 per cent to US$6,420, Ethereum has lost 8.1 per cent to US$443 and EOS has dropped 8.3 per cent to US$7.52.