Wall Street posts gains: Aus shares to defy leads and open lower

Market Reports

by Anna Napoli

Australian shares are headed lower this morning despite Wall street posting gains overnight. US sharemarkets lifted to new record highs for a third consecutive session on trade expectations yesterday. US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said that he’s confident the US can reach a trade deal with Canada after negotiating an agreement with Mexico on Monday. All three major U.S. indexes were marginally up in the session. Technology companies led the advance, offset by declines in the utilities, materials and telco sectors.

Meantime, Global oil prices edged lower on Tuesday as some investors took profits, gold was also down as U.S. Treasurys received a boost from the United States and Mexico striking a trade deal on Monday.

Markets

Wall Street closed higher on Tuesday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 0.1 per cent up at 26,064, the S&P 500 gained 0.03 per cent to 2,898 and the NASDAQ rose 0.2 per ent to close at 8030.

European markets closed mixed yesterday: London’s FTSE was 0.5 higher, Paris gained 0.1 per cent and Frankfurt dropped 0.1 per cent.

Asian markets closed mixed, Tokyo’s Nikkei added 0.1 per cent lower, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rose 0.3 per cent and China’s Shanghai Composite lost 0.1 per cent.

Back home, the SPI futures are pointing to a 6 points fall. Yesterday, the Australian share market closed higher with the S&P/ASX 200 Index adding 36 points to close at 6305.

Company news

Prime Media Group has announced losses have increased to $12.3 million for the 2018 full year, a 134 per cent turnaround on the previous year. The broadcaster says losses are due to the ongoing decline of regional free-to-air TV advertising markets, and increasing programming costs. Revenue was down 8.7 per cent to $219 million. Earnings also fell almost 30 per cent on the prior corresponding period to $45 million. The company has suspended dividend payments to focus on reducing interest bearing debt. Shares in Prime Media Group (ASX:PRT) closed flat at $0.29 yesterday.

Reporting season
Ainsworth Game Technology (ASX:AGI), Independence Group (ASX:IGO) and Sirtex Medical (ASX:SRX) are all due to release results today.

Ex-dividends

A number of companies are going ex-dividend today including :
Contact Energy (ASX:CEN) is paying 17.09c unfranked
Downer EDI (ASX:DOW) is paying 14c 50 per cent franked
and Telstra Corporation (ASX:TLS) is paying 11c fully franked

Currencies

One Australian Dollar at 7:30AM was buying US73.37 cents, 57.03 Pence Sterling, 81.58 Yen and 62.76 Euro cents.

Commodities

Iron ore futures are pointing to 0.2 per cent rise.
Gold dropped $9 to $US1207 an ounce.
Silver was fell 20c at $US14.77 an ounce.
Oil declined 34c to $US68.53 a barrel.

Cryptocurrencies

The three most traded cryptocurrencies are trading higher: Bitcoin has added 5.1 per cent to US$7096, Ethereum has gained 6 per cent to US$295 and EOS was up 12.8 per cent to US$5.86.