Australian shares are set to lift at the open after stocks rose on Wall Street on Tuesday. US markets received a boost from reports that China and the US are seeking talks to diffuse an escalating trade war. Shares of large exporters Boeing, Caterpillar and Deere all climbed higher on the back of the news. The US corporate earnings season continued with Proctor and Gamble and Pfizer reporting better-than-expected earnings, meantime shares of Apple rose 2.2 per cent in after hours trade following strong results.
On the commodities front, global oil prices fell as OPEC and Russia boosted crude production in July. Gold prices lifted, reversing earlier losses as the Chinese Yuan strengthened against the dollar, and iron ore gained US60 cents.
Turning to local economic news out today home price data and manufacturing activity are due to be released. Economists are expecting a half a per cent drop in home prices for the month of July.
Wall Street closed higher yesterday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.4 per cent to close at 25,415, the S&P 500 closed 0.5 per cent higher to close at 2,816 and the NASDAQ gained 0.6 per cent to close at 7672.
European markets closed higher yesterday: London’s FTSE added 0.6 per cent, Paris gained 0.4 per cent and Frankfurt closed 0.1 per cent higher.
Asian markets closed mixed, Tokyo’s Nikkei added 0.04 per cent lower, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 0.5 per cent and China’s Shanghai Composite gained 0.3 per cent.
On the futures markets, the SPI futures are pointing to a 19pts gain. Yesterday, the Australian share market closed slightly higher with the S&P/ASX 200 Index adding 2 points to close at 6280.
Incitec Pivot (ASX:IPL) has extended its contract with Zenith Energy at its Phosphate Hill Power Station in the Mount Isa region of Northern Queensland. The manage operate and maintain contract is forecast to generate consistent revenue to Zenith’s operations over the next 12 months. The companies have worked together since 2015. Shares in Incitec Pivot (ASX:IPL) closed 1.34 per cent higher to $3.79
One Australian Dollar at 7:40AM was buying US74.26 cents, 56.62 Pence Sterling, 83.06 Yen and 63.55 Euro cents.
Iron ore futures are pointing to 0.3 per cent fall.
Gold gained $1.40 to $US1233 an ounce.
Silver was up 1c at $US15.54 an ounce.
Oil dropped $1.70 to $US68.43 a barrel.
The three most traded cryptocurrencies are trading lower: Bitcoin has dropped 4.9 per cent to US$7745, Ethereum has lost 4.7 per cent to US$434 and EOS was down 5.9 per cent to US$7.28.