Record bull run for the S&P500: ASX to open higher

Market Reports

by Rachael Jones

Following on from mixed leads from US markets, the Australian share market looks set to open higher this morning. The Federal Reserve minutes were released and showed the central bank intends to maintain a gradual pace for rate hikes. The S&P 500 has shown its longest bull market run. Up 320 percent over 3,453 days. Technology stocks helped the Nasdaq indexes outperform. Industrials and utilities didn’t do so well.

Local economic data

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) will release the Private Capital Expenditure publication (essentially business investment figures) for the June quarter.

Also on Thursday, local council building approvals data for July is issued. Council approvals to build new homes rose by 6.4 per cent in June – the largest increase since January. And approvals were up 1.6 per cent on the year. Greater Brisbane house approvals rose to a record rolling annual total of 14,715 over the year to June.

Markets 

Wall Street closed mixed on Wednesday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 0.3 per cent lower to close at 25,734, the S&P 500 closed flat at 2,862 and the NASDAQ added 0.4 per cent to close at 7889.

European markets closed higher yesterday: London’s FTSE added 0.1 per cent, Paris was up 0.2 per cent and Frankfurt closed slightly higher.

Asian markets closed mixed, Tokyo’s Nikkei added 0.6 per cent lower, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng increased 0.6 per cent and China’s Shanghai Composite lost 0.7 per cent.

On the futures markets, the ASX futures are pointing to a 17 points gain. Yesterday, the Australian share market closed lower with the S&P/ASX 200 Index losing 18 points to close at 6266.

Company news

Wesfarmers (ASX:WES) has agreed to sell its 13.2 per cent indirect interest in Quadrant Energy Holdings to Santos (ASX:STO) for net proceeds of approximately US$170 million.
The transaction provides Wesfarmers with a contingent value right in relation to the recent Dorado-1 oil discovery that was announced last month by Quadrant’s joint venture partner, Carnarvon Petroleum, and a royalty over Quadrant’s tenements in Western Australia. On successful completion of the transaction, Wesfarmers expects to report a pre-tax profit on sale of approximately $98 million US. Quadrant is currently held directly or indirectly by Brookfield Asset Management (36.2%), Macquarie Capital (21.8%), Wesfarmers (13.2%), AMB Holdings (13.2%), Canadian institutional investor CDPQ (12.1%), and Quadrant management (3.4%). The transaction is subject to approval by the ACCC.
Shares in Wesfarmers (ASX:WES) closed 0.77 per cent lower at $50.59

Reporting Season 

- South32 (ASX:S32)
- Alumina (ASX:AWC)
- APN Property Group (ASX:AWC)
- Cromwell Property Group (ASX:CMW)
- Flight Centre Travel Group (ASX:FLT)
- IRESS (ASX:IRE)
- Pacific Smiles Group (ASX:PSQ)
- Qantas Airways (ASX:QAN)
- Qube Holdings (ASX:QUB)
- RCR Tomlinson (ASX:RCR)
- Santos (ASX:STO)
- Stockland (ASX:SGP)
- Village Roadshow (ASX:VRL)
- Watpac (ASX:WTP)
- Webjet (ASX:WEB)
- Afterpay Touch Group (ASX:APT)

Ex-Dividends

Baby Bunting Grp Ltd (ASX:BBN) paying 2.5 cents fully franked
Capral Limited (ASX:CAA) paying 0.5 cents fully franked
The Citadel Grp (ASX:CGL) paying 9 cents fully franked
JB Hi-Fi Limited (ASX:JBH) paying 46 cents fully franked
Kogan.Com Ltd (ASX:KGN0 paying  6.1 cents fully franked
Korvest Ltd (ASX:KOV) paying 7 cents fully franked
MyState Limited (ASX:MYS) paying 14.5 cents fully franked
Ooh!Media Limited (ASX:OML)  paying 3.5 cents fully franked
QBE Insurance Group (ASX:QBE) paying 22 cents 30 per cent franked
Woodside Petroleum (ASX:WPL) 73.4784 cents fully franked

Commodities and currency

One Australian Dollar at 7:40AM was buying US73.51 cents, 56.94 Pence Sterling, 81.28 Yen and 63.41 Euro cents.

Iron ore futures are pointing to 0.9 per cent fall.
Gold gained $2.50 to $US1203 an ounce.
Silver was down 3c at $US14.83 an ounce.
Oil added $2.27 to $US68.11 a barrel.

Cryptocurrencies

The three most traded cryptocurrencies are trading lower: Bitcoin has lost 1.4 per cent to US$6382, Ethereum has dropped 4.3 per cent to US$268 and EOS was down 4.3 per cent to US$4.64.