US China trade talks, Trump & Democrats clash: Aus shares to open higher

Market Reports

by Anna Napoli

Australian shares are set to open higher despite a volatile session on Wall Street overnight. US Stocks ended mostly lower after alternating between gains and losses throughout the trading day. There was some optimism on US-China trade, which saw the likes of Ford, General Motors and Fiat Chrysler all close higher. However, stocks fell to their lows of the day after the US President threatened to shut down the Government over a clash with Democrats on funding for a US-Mexico border wall.

In terms of local economic news today, we can expect the consumer confidence reading for December from Westpac and the Melbourne Institute and credit and debit card lending from the Reserve Bank.

Markets

Wall Street closed mixed yesterday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.2 per cent to 24,370 the S&P 500 was down 0.04 per cent to 2,637and the NASDAQ added 0.2 per cent to 7032.

European markets closed higher yesterday: London’s FTSE added 1.3 per cent, Paris gained 1.4 per cent and Frankfurt rose 1.5 per cent.

Asian markets closed mixed, Tokyo’s Nikkei fell 0.3 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng added 0.1 per cent and China’s Shanghai Composite was up 0.4 per cent.

Returning home, the SPI futures are pointing to a 16 points gain. Yesterday, the Australian share market closed higher with the S&P/ASX 200 Index closing 23 points up at 5576.

Company news

Shares of Sonic Healthcare (ASX:SHL) will be placed into a trading halt, pending the release of an announcement today. Shares will resume trading this Friday the 14th of December. Shares in Sonic Healthcare (ASX:SGL) closed 1.16 per cent lower to $21.39 yesterday.

Ex-Dividends

Gentrack Group (ASX:GTK) is paying 8.18 cents 8.5 per cent franked.

Currencies

One Australian Dollar at 8:40AM was buying US72.02 cents, 57.67 Pence Sterling, 81.67 Yen and 63.62 Euro cents.

Commodities

Iron ore futures are pointing to 1.5 per cent gain
Gold dropped $1.50 to $US1248 an ounce.
Silver was up 5 cents at $US14.65 an ounce.
Oil added $0.72 to $US51.72 a barrel.