Turbulent trading in the US: ASX poised to open lower

Market Reports

by Rachael Jones

The ASX is poised to open lower this morning after a volatile day on Wall Street. It was a rollercoaster for US stocks which fell for a second day, after some wild swings in heavy volume. The S&P 500 is at a three-month low after a six-day slide - the longest slump of Donald Trump’s presidency. Earlier, Asian and European equities plunged as the market volatility extended around the world. As the US dollar fell - the Australian dollar surged back above the US71 cents mark. Gold surged and oil plunged. The yield on the US 10-year yield slipped 2 basis points to 3.14 per cent.

Local economic news 

ABS Housing Finance, August 2018.

Markets 

Wall Street closed lower yesterday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 2.1 per cent to close at 25,053, the S&P 500 shed 2.1 per cent to 2,728 and the NASDAQ dropped 1.3 per cent higher to close at 7,329.

European markets closed lower yesterday: London’s FTSE fell 1.9 per cent, Paris also dropped 1.9 per cent and Frankfurt dipped 1.5 per cent.

Asian markets closed lower, Tokyo’s Nikkei dropped 3.9 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng shed 3.5 per cent and China’s Shanghai Composite plunged 5.2 per cent.

On the futures markets, the ASX futures are pointing to a 47 points fall. Yesterday, the Australian share market closed lower with the S&P/ASX 200 Index dropping 166 points to 5,884.

Company news

Travel company Helloworld (ASX:HLO) released their financial performance summary for the year ending 30th June 2018 and show that total revenue remained unchanged from the prior corresponding period and EBITDA rose 18.2 per cent to $65.2 million, an increase of $10.0 million. Results were driven primarily by strong air ticket transaction volume growth and the addition of the Magellan Travel Group acquired in March 2018. Helloworld has over 2000 staff located in Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, the USA, Asia, India and Europe. Helloworld Travel is the proud naming rights partner of Volleyball Australia and the Helloworld Travel Volleyroos men’s and women’s national teams. Shares in Helloworld Travel (ASX:HLO) closed 2.4 per cent lower to $6.00 yesterday.

Atlas Iron (ASX:AGO) advises that the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has granted an extension of time for Atlas to hold its 2018 Annual General Meeting (AGM) from 29th November to 31st January 2019. The off-market takeover bid for all the issued shares of Atlas by Hancock Prospecting through its wholly-owned subsidiary, Redstone Corporation), is scheduled to close at 5.00pm (Perth time) today. Atlas applied for the AGM Extension because it did not consider it was in the best interests of Atlas shareholders to spend time and funds on the preparation for an AGM given that Redstone may compulsorily acquire all remaining Atlas shares in which it does not have a relevant interest. Shares in Atlas Iron (ASX:AGO) closed flat at 4.5c yesterday.

Ex-Dividends 

Future Generation Investment Company (ASX:FGX) is paying 2.3 cents fully franked
Sigma Healthcare (ASX:SIG) is paying 1.5 cents fully franked
WAM Active (ASX:WAA) is paying 2.85 cents fully franked
WAM Research (ASX:WAX) is paying 4.75c fully franked
WAM Leaders (ASX:WLE) is paying 2.5 cents fully franked
WAM Microcap (ASX:WMI) is paying 4 cents fully franked

Currencies

One Australian Dollar at 7:40AM was buying US71.22 cents, 53.86 Pence Sterling, 79.81 Yen and 61.44 Euro cents.

Commodities

Iron ore futures are pointing to 0.4 per cent gain
Gold gained $33.90 to $US1227 an ounce.
Silver was up 28 cents at $US14.61 an ounce.
Oil fell $2.30 to $US70.73 a barrel.

Cryptocurrencies

The three most traded cryptocurrencies are trading lower: Bitcoin has lost 4.5 per cent to US$6290, Ethereum has fallen 12.64 per cent to US$197 and EOS has dropped 12.94 per cent to US40 cents.