The Australian share market looks set to open lower this morning after US stocks ended virtually unchanged on Friday. Despite the flat finish, the S&P 500 posted its best quarter since 2013. Health care was the best performing sector of the third quarter surging just over 14 per cent, while, industrials and tech rose 9.7 and 8.5 per cent respectively.
Oil prices rose more than 1 percent on Friday, with Brent climbing to a fresh four-year high. Investors are concerned by the US sanctions on Iran which are set to come into place on November 4.
Local economic news
The week kicks-off on today when CoreLogic releases the Home Value index. On Tuesday, the Reserve Bank Board meets but no change in rates is expected for the 26th straight month. On Wednesday, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) releases data on dwelling approvals. On Thursday the ABS releases the August international trade data. And finally on Friday we can expect the August data on retail trade or sales and the AiGroup Performance of Construction index.
Wall Street closed mixed on Friday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.1 per cent o close at 26,458, the S&P 500 closed flat to 2914 and the NASDAQ gained 0.1 per cent higher to 8046.
European markets closedlower on Friday: London’s FTSE lost 0.5 per cent, Paris dropped 0.9 per cent and Frankfurt shed 1.5 per cent.
Asian markets higher on Friday, Tokyo’s Nikkei gained 1.4%,Hong Kong’s Hang Seng added 0.3 per cent and China’s Shanghai Composite was up 1.1%.
On the futures markets, the SPI futures are pointing to a 23pts fall. On Friday, the Australian share market closed higher with the S&P/ASX 200 Indexclosing 26 points up to 6208.
Westpac (ASX:WBC) Chief executive Brian Hartzer has apologised to customers affected by mistakes made by the bank following the release of the interim report of the Royal Commission. Hartzer says the bank has introduced a number of reforms, including to remuneration structures and its approach to dealing with customer issues, but says there is still work to do. Shares in Westpac (ASX:WBC) closed 1.2 per cent higher to $27.93 on Friday.
Credit Corp Group (ASX:CCP) is paying 36 cents fully franked and Evans Dixon (ASX:ED1) is paying 6 cents fully franked.
One Australian Dollar at 7:40AM was buying US72.26 cents, 55.44 Pence Sterling, 82.19 Yen and 62.24 Euro cents.
Gold has gained $8.80 to $US1196 an ounce.
Silver was up 42c to $US14.71an ounce.
Oil added $1.13 to $US73.25 a barrel.
The three most traded cryptocurrencies are trading lower: Bitcoin has lost 0.1 per cent to US$6595, Ethereum dropped 1.3 per cent to US$229. and XRP has shed 0.8 per cent to US57c.