New US sanctions for Russia: ASX set to open flat

Market Reports

by Rachael Jones

Australian shares are poised to open flat, although US stocks slowed on their four day advance as trade tensions rose once again – this time with sanctions imposed on Russia. Oil dropped and gold has added. Iron Ore futures are pointing to 0.5 per cent drop.

Markets

The ASX futures are pointing to a flat start. Yesterday, the Australian share market closed higher with the S&P/ASX 200 Index adding 15 points to close at 6269.

Wall Street closed mixed on Wednesday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 0.2 per cent lower to close at 25,584, the S&P 500 closed 0.03 per cent lower to close at 2,858 and the NASDAQ gained 0.1 per cent to close at 7888.

European markets closed mixed yesterday: London’s FTSE added 0.8 per cent, Paris fell 0.4 per cent and Frankfurt closed 0.1 per cent lower.

Asian markets closed mixed, Tokyo’s Nikkei fell 0.1 per cent lower, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng added 0.4 per cent and China’s Shanghai Composite dropped 1.3 per cent.

Company news 

Hometown America has placed an off market bid to acquire all stapled securities in Gateway Lifestyle Group (ASX:GTY). $2.25 cash is offered for each stapled security. Gateway looks after over 50s style community living. Hometown America was founded in 1997 and operates over 60 residential land lease communities across eleven states in the United States Shares in Gateway Lifestyle Group (ASX:GTY) closed flat at $2.28.

Reporting season

We can watch out for AGL Energy (ASX:AGL), Crown Resorts (ASX:CWN) and Suncorp (ASX:SUN) which are set to report financial results today.

Ex-dividends

Three companies are going ex-dividend today:

Morphic Eef (ASX:MEC) is paying 1c fully franked
Milton Corporation (ASX:MLT) is paying 10.2c fully franked
Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) is paying 170.84c ($1.71) fully franked

Currencies

One Australian Dollar at 7:40AM was buying US74.36 cents, 57.73 Pence Sterling, 82.48 Yen and 64.06 Euro cents.

Commodities

Gold added $3.50 to $US1222 an ounce.
Silver gained 7c at $US15.44 an ounce.
Oil dropped $2.39 to $US66.78 a barrel.

Cryptocurrencies

The three most traded cryptocurrencies are trading lower: Bitcoin has dropped almost 8 per cent to US$6329, Ethereum has lost 7.3 per cent to US$358 and EOS was down 17 per cent to US$5.57.