US stocks take a tumble: ASX set to drop at the open

Market Reports

by Rachael Jones

Australian shares are set to drop at the open – we are seeing renewed concerns about the US and China trade war. On Wall Street all three major benchmarks plunged. Amazon shed as did Apple, Facebook and Twitter. The sell-off accelerated in the final hour. Upscale retailers Estee Lauder and Tiffany led losses after French luxury goods maker LVMH confirmed China is enforcing customs rules more strictly. Rising global yields continue to cause concern. The price of oil fell as a major hurricane heads for the Florida Panhandle.

Markets

Wall Street closed lower yesterday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged 3.2 per cent to close at 25,599, the S&P 500 shed 3.3 per cent to 2,786 and the NASDAQ plummeted 4.1 per cent higher to close at 7422.

European markets closed lower yesterday: London’s FTSE fell 1.3 per cent, Paris dropped 2.1 per cent and Frankfurt dipped 2.2 per cent.

Asian markets closed higher, Tokyo’s Nikkei added 0.2 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 0.1 per cent and China’s Shanghai Composite was up 0.2 per cent.

On the futures markets, the ASX futures are pointing to a 109 points fall. Yesterday, the Australian share market closed higher with the S&P/ASX 200 Index adding almost 9 points to 6050.

Company news

Ramsay Health Care (ASX:RHC) says board of directors of Swedish healthcare company Capio AB has unanimously decided to recommend that Capio shareholders accept Ramsay Générale de Santé’s (RGdS) public offer to acquire 100 per cent of the shares in Capio. The board of directors of Capio has also decided to withdraw its proposal to resolve on the sale of Capio Santé SA, Capio’s French operations. Ramsay further advises that Ramsay Générale de Santé’s has decided to lower the minimum acceptance condition to 75 per cent of the shares in Capio (on a fully diluted basis). Shares in Ramsay Health Care (ASX:RHC) closed 0.3 per cent higher to $54.33 yesterday.

Ex-Dividends

Asia Pacific Data Centre Group (ASX:AJD) is paying 2 cents unfranked
Desane Group Holdings (ASX:DGH) is paying 2.25 cents fully franked
GR Engineering Services (ASX:GNG) is paying 5 cents unfranked
Harvey Norman Holdings (ASX:HVN) is paying 18 cents fully franked
MFF Capital Investments (ASX:MFF) is paying 1.5 cents fully franked

One Australian Dollar at 7:40AM was buying US70.70 cents, 53.62 Pence Sterling, 79.41 Yen and 61.38 Euro cents.

Commodities

Gold gained $5.50 to $US1197 an ounce.
Silver was down 8 cents at $US14.32 an ounce.
Oil fell $2.11 to $US72.70 a barrel.

Cryptocurrencies

The three most traded cryptocurrencies are trading lower: Bitcoin has lost 0.6 per cent to US$6590, Ethereum has fallen 1.1 per cent to US$225 and EOS has dropped 0.4 per cent to US$5.88.