Following weak leads from US markets, the Australian share market looks set to open lower. US stocks fell on Friday as poor earnings from Intel and Twitter muted a strong growth reading for the economy. Tech stocks posted their second straight day of steep losses, dragging the Nasdaq down over 1 per cent.
On the commodities front, oil prices fell on Friday after three days of gains, while gold inched higher as the US dollar slid lower. Iron Ore was also stronger.
US economic news
US economic growth jumped 4.1 percent in the second quarter, its best pace in nearly four years.The gross domestic product data matched economists’ expectations and was boosted by an uptick in consumer spending, exports and business investment. U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Sunday that he believes the quickening pace of growth in the nation’s economy in the second quarter will persist for the next few years.
Local economic news
The week kicks off on this morning with the release of the CommSec State of the States report, NSW has slipped to second place after nearly four years as Australia’s strongest performing economy. Victoria has reached the top spot thanks to strong population growth which has boosted key industry sectors.On Tuesday we can expect building approvals, private sector credit and new home sales. On Wednesday, CoreLogic releases the July data on home price while AiGroup and the Commonwealth Bank release survey results on manufacturing activity. On Thursday Australia’s international trade balance for June is issued. Finally, on Friday the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries releases the July sales data for new vehicles the AiGroup and Commonwealth Bank release their services sector activity gauges.
Wall Street closed lower on Friday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.3 per cent to close at 25,451, the S&P 500 lost 0.7 per cent to close at 2,819 and the NASDAQ lost the most, down 1.5 per cent to 7737.
European markets closed higher on Friday: London’s FTSE added 0.5 per cent, Paris gained 0.6 per cent and Frankfurt increased 0.4 per cent.
Asian markets closed mixed on Friday, Tokyo’s Nikkei closed 0.6 per cent higher, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 0.1 per cent and China’s Shanghai Composite was down 0.3%.
On the futures markets, the SPI futures are pointing to a 26pts loss. On Friday, the Australian share market closed higher with the S&P/ASX 200 Index closing up 56 points to 6300.
Mining company, Independence Group (ASX:IGO) has announced nickel production from its Nova operation increased by 23 per cent quarter on quarter, but fell 3 per cent below guidance for financial year 18. Meantime, Tropicana gold production ended the year better than the midpoint of the companies guidance at 467 thousand ounces. Independence Group says during the financial year it has successfully delivered Nova’s first year of commercial production as well as continued operational effectiveness at Tropicana. Shares in Independence Group (ASX:IGO) closed 1.03 per cent lower to $4.79 on Friday.
Three companies are going ex dividend today:
Australian Governance & Ethical Index Fund (ASX:AGM) is paying 4.5c unfranked
Aurora Dividend Income Trust (ASX:AOD) is paying 0.3c unfranked
Gryphon Capital Income Trust (ASX:GCI) is paying 0.48c unfranked
One Australian Dollar at 7:40AM was buying US74.03 cents, 56.49 Pence Sterling, 82.16 Yen and 63.51 Euro cents.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a 1.02 per cent gain.
Gold has lost $2.60 to $US1233 an ounce.
Silver was steady at $US15.49 an ounce.
Oil slipped 92c to $US68.69 a barrel.
The three most traded cryptocurrencies are trading mixed: Bitcoin has added 0.4 per cent to US$8,208, Ethereum has added 0.1 per cent to US$466and EOS has lost 0.04 per cent to US$8.25.