Australian shares are set to open higher this morning after rally on Wall Street on Friday. US stocks rose amid hopes the US and China would reach a deal on tariffs. The Dow Jones ended the month with a 150 point rally. The energy sector was softer, but, weaker oil prices boosted stocks in airline companies. Meantime, General Electric shed almost 6 per cent following reports of a Federal investigation. Back home, we can expect a positive start for the market this week after the US and China agreed to halt to their escalating trade dispute. The countries have announced a 90 day cease fire in their tariff war, after talks at the G20 summit in Argentina. President Trump has agreed not to boost tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods from 10 to 25 per cent in January. In return China will buy up a substantial amount of US agricultural, industrial and energy products. If negotiations fail US tariffs on Chinese goods will be raised to 25 per cent.
On the commodities front, oil has dipped reversing Thursday's gains, iron ore continued to slip, over the week falling by 5 per cent and gold has also edged lower.
Local economic news
There is a wealth of economic news due to be released this week, including the November results for home prices from Corelogic, Quarterly data on government spending and the Balance of Payments from the ABS, as well as the Reserve Bank board meeting on Tuesday.
Wall Street closed higher on Friday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.8 per cent to close at 25,538, the S&P 500 gained 0.8 per cent to 2760 and the NASDAQ rose 0.8 per cent to 7331.
European markets closed lower on Friday: London’s FTSE fell 0.8 per cent, Paris was down 0.1 per cent and Frankfurt dropped 0.4 per cent.
Asian markets closed higher on Friday, Tokyo’s Nikkei added 0.4 per cent,Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rose 0.2 per cent and China’s Shanghai Composite gained 0.8 per cent.
On the futures markets, the ASX futures are pointing to a 25 points gain. On Friday,the Australian share market closed lower with the S&P/ASX 200 Index losing 91 points at 5667.
Concrete block and brick manufacturing company, Brickworks (ASX:BKW) says it has sold about $5.9 million shares in Washington H Soul Pattison, raising $157 million. The company says the proceeds will be used to reduce net debt following its recent acquisition of US based brick venture Glen-Gery. Shares in Brickworks (ASX:BKW) closed 0.24 per cent lower to $16.33 on Friday.
Morphic Ethical Equities Fund (ASX:MEC) is paying 1 cent fully franked
One Australian Dollar at 7:40AM was buying US73.82 cents, 57.82 Pence Sterling, 84.01 Yen and 64.97 Euro cents.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a 1.3 per cent gain.
Gold has dropped $4.40 to $US1226 an ounce.
Silver was down 18 cents to $US14.22an ounce.
Oil fell $0.52 to $US50.93 a barrel.
Bitcoin has lost 1.9 per cent to US$4165, Ethereum has fallen also 1.9 per cent to US$117 and EOS was down 1.5 per cent to US$2.94.