The Australian share market is eyeing a lift at the open after the major indices on Wall Street surged in the final hour of trade, on the EU agreeing to import more US soybeans, while the European Union also agreed to lower tariffs on industrial goods, averting a potential trade war.
After the report US construction machinery and equipment giant, Caterpillar jumped 1.8 per cent and Ford shares entered positive territory, recovering from a 4 per cent dip earlier in the session.
On the commodities front, oil jumped back to the US$69 level, while gold gained on a weaker US dollar amid US-EU trade talks. While the iron ore futures suggesting a dip of 0.5 per cent, but over the week the price is pushing higher.
And in breaking news, Facebook shares have plunged as much as 20 per cent on a revenue miss, revenue hitting $13.23 billion, less than the $13.36 billion expected, but what was more alarming to the market was a drop in their daily users to 1.47 billion, less than the 1.49 billion, estimate.
US economic news
US new home sales fell to an eight-month low in June, with data from the Commerce Department revised sharply lower on the prior month. Another indication that the housing market has been cooling. It comes as new home sales fell 5.3 per cent, a bigger dip than the 2.8 per cent drop expected, with the annual rate hitting 631,000 units last month, the lowest level since October 2017.
Taking all of this into equation, the ASX futures are pointing to a 8 points gain. Yesterday the share market (S&P/ASX 200 index) closed 0.29 per cent or 18 points lower, at 6,248, at 10-year highs.
Local economic news
We can expect the trade prices for exports and imports in the June quarter from the ABS. Trade prices for exports and imports are tipped to decline, but are up 4.9 per cent and 2.1 per cent annually.
And Australians will also get some detailed job data about employment per industry.
Wall Street closed higher on Wednesday: The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.7 per cent to close at 25,414, the S&P 500 added 0.9 per cent to close at 2,846 and the NASDAQ added 1.2 per cent to close at 7,932.
European markets closed lower: London’s FTSE lost 0.7 per cent, Paris lost 0.1 per cent and Frankfurt shed 0.9 per cent.
Asian markets closed mixed: Tokyo’s Nikkei added 0.5 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rose 0.9 per cent, and China’s Shanghai Composite lost 0.1 per cent.
Medical device company, Sirtex Medical (ASX:SRX) announced its CEO Andrew McLean will move from the Sydney corporate head office to the American office, just outside of Boston, to be closer to the majority of its clinical customers (based in the US). Sirtex also owns and runs a manufacturing facility close to its Boston office, just some of the reasons why the CEO says it makes strategic sense to move there. The move in tabled to occur on 1 August 2018. At the same time, the multinational investment bank Morgan Stanley and its subsidies increased their stake in the company from about 5.1 per cent to about 6.8 per cent Shares in Sirtex Medical (ASX:SRX) closed 0.03 per cent lower yesterday at $32.05.
One company is going ex-dividend today: Mirrabooka Investments (ASX:MIR) which is paying 8.5 cents fully franked.
One Australian Dollar at 7:35am was buying 74.56 US cents, 56.53 Pence Sterling, 82.75 Yen and 63.57 Euro cents.
Gold has gained $6.40 to $US1,241 an ounce.
Silver has added $0.11 to $US15.63 an ounce.
Oil has risen $0.74 to $US69.26 a barrel.
Some of the most traded are pushing higher: Bitcoin has gained 0.1 per cent to US$8,248, Ethereum has gained about 0.3 per cent to US$476, and EOS has gained 1.4 per cent to $8.60.