Wall Street flat: Aus shares set to open slightly higher

Market Reports

by Anna Napoli

Australian shares are poised to open slightly higher this morning following a fairly flat session on Wall Street on Friday. US stocks got off to a positive start but gains were short-lived as news emerged President Donald Trump intends to move forward with tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods.

In US economic news

The U.S. Commerce Department said domestic retail sales rose 0.1 percent in August, the smallest gain in six months, but July figures were revised higher, supporting the view of solid consumer spending in the third quarter. Industrial production rose by 0.4 per cent in August beating expectations. The US dollar bounced against a basket of currencies including the Aussie dollar on the back of the solid economic data.

Local economic news

On Tuesday the ABS releases quarterly home prices data and minutes of the latest Reserve Bank Board meeting are also out. On Wednesday, the Department of Jobs and Small Business releases the August skilled internet job vacancies data and finally, on Thursday the ABS releases population data and detailed labour market figures.

Taking a look at global markets: Wall Street closed flat on Friday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.03 per cent to close at 26,155, the S&P 500 was also 0.03 per cent higher to 2905 and the NASDAQ fell 0.1 per cent to 8010.

European markets closed higher on Friday: London’s FTSE added 0.3 per cent, Paris gained0.5per cent and Frankfurt was up 0.6 per cent.

Asian markets closed mixed on Friday, Tokyo’s Nikkei closed 1.2 per cent higher, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng added 1.01 per cent and China’s Shanghai Composite was down 0.2 per cent.

On the futures markets, the SPI futures are pointing to a 6pts gain. On Friday,the Australian share market closed higher with the S&P/ASX 200 Index closing 37 points higher to 6165.

Company news

The takeover battle for Investa Office Fund (ASX:IOF) continues with Investa adjourning the shareholder vote on the proposed Blackstone scheme again. Investa announced the postponement late on Friday after seeking judicial advice from the Supreme Court. The move comes after Canada’s Oxford Properties upped their offer to $5.60 per share on Thursday and announced they had secured a stake of 19.99 per cent of the funds manager’s share register. Their latest offer is 8 cents more than rival private equity giant Blackstone. Investa has also granted the Oxford team access into the data room for due diligence. Shares in Investa Office Fund (ASX:IOF) closed flat at $5.54 on Friday.

Ex-Dividends

Alliance Aviation (ASX:AQZ) is paying 6.3c fully franked
Cochlear (ASX:COH) is paying 160c (1.60) fully franked
Cleanaway Waste (ASX:CWY) is paying 1.4c fully franked
F.F.I. Holdings (ASX:FFI) is paying 10c fully franked
HUB24 (ASX:HUB) is paying 3.5c unfranked
And Over The Wire (ASX:OTW) is paying 1.5c fully franked

Currencies
One Australian Dollar at 7:40AM was buying US71.58 cents, 54.76 Pence Sterling, 80.20 Yen and 61.57 Euro cents.

Commodities

Iron ore futures are pointing to a 0.6 per cent gain.
Gold has dropped $7.10 to $US1201 an ounce.
Silver was down10c to $US14.14 an ounce.
Oil added 36c to $US68.77 a barrel.

Cryptocurrencies

The three most traded cryptocurrencies are trading mixed: Bitcoin has lost 0.3 per cent to US$6516, Ethereum has added 0.1 per cent to US$222 and EOS has gained 0.7 per cent to US$5.43.