Brexit bites, Wall Street recovers from session lows: Aus shares to open higher

Market Reports

by Anna Napoli

Australian shares are set to open higher following a recovery on Wall Street. Stocks erased steep losses from earlier in the session, thanks to a rebound in technology stocks. Traders pointed to a number of reasons for the initial selling, including lingering China US trade tensions, and, an announcement by UK Prime Minister, Theresa May about the delay of a key Brexit vote in the country's parliament. Shares of Facebook, Amazon and Netflix all notched small gains helping to steady the broader market.

Brent oil is trading lower despite OPEC and its allies agreeing to pare back production. Gold is also lower after finishing stronger last week on increased speculation that the US Fed will slow rate hikes and, iron ore is down 0.6 per cent.

And as for local economic data due out today, NAB releases its November business survey.

Markets

Wall Street closed higher yesterday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.1 per cent to 24,423 the S&P 500 gained 0.2 per cent to 2,638 and the NASDAQ rose 0.7 per cent to 7021.


European markets closed lower yesterday: London’s FTSE fell 0.8 per cent, Paris dropped 1.5 per cent and Frankfurt shed 1.5 per cent.

Asian markets closed lower, Tokyo’s Nikkei fell 2.1 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng dropped 1.2 per cent and China’s Shanghai Composite was down 0.8 per cent.

On the futures markets, the ASX futures are pointing to a 20 points gain. Yesterday, the Australian share market closed lower with the S&P/ASX 200 Index closing 129 points down to 5553.

Company news

Insurance company QBE (ASX:QBE) says it has simplified its group portfolio with sale of its insurance operations in Puerto Rico, Indonesia and the Philippines. The recently finalised 2019 reinsurance program is structured to better suit the Group's simplified portfolio, and, to improve underwriting risk profile. The business also hopes to save around $130 million via a three year operational efficiency program. Shares in QBE Insurance(ASX:QBE) closed 2.81 per cent lower to$10.39 yesterday.

Ex-dividends

Cordish Dixon Private Equity Fund III (ASX:CD3) is paying 1.3 cents unfranked
James Hardie Industries (ASX:JHX) is paying 11.01 cents unfranked

Currencies

One Australian Dollar at 8:40AM was buying US71.89 cents, 57.24 Pence Sterling, 81.49 Yen and 63.33 Euro cents.

Commodities

Iron ore futures are pointing to 0.1 per cent fall
Gold dropped$2.70 to$US1250 an ounce
Silver was down 8 cents at $US14.62 an ounce
Oil fell $1.78 to $US50.83 a barrel