China data weighs on Wall Street: Aus shares to defy leads and open higher

Market Reports

by Anna Napoli

Australian sharemarkets look set to edge higher this morning despite a fall in global markets overnight. Weaker than expected economic data from China weighed on Wall Street yesterday. The data showed December exports and imports dropping unexpectedly. Tuesday's Brexit vote is also weakening investor confidence with Theresa May's Brexit deal looking likely to suffer a defeat in Parliament. But it wasn't all bad news, Citigroup kicked off the US earnings season and its shares saw a rise of 4.2 per cent after the investment bank reported better than expect earnings. Oil was weaker on the back of the figures out of China while the gold price received a boost from investors seeking safety in the precious metal. iron ore rose by about 0.1 per cent.

Global Markets

Wall Street closed lower yesterday: The Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 0.4 per cent to close at 23,910 the S&P 500 lost 0.5 per cent to close at 2583 and the NASDAQ was down 0.9 per cent to close at 6906.

European markets closed also lower: London’s FTSE dropped 0.9 per cent, Paris lost 0.4 per cent and Frankfurt was down 0.3 per cent.

Asian markets closed lower: Tokyo’s Nikkei was closed, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng shed 1.4 per cent, and China’s Shanghai Composite lost 0.7 per cent.

Returning home, the SPI futures are eyeing a lift of 9 points. Yesterday the Australian share market closed 1 point lower at 5,773.

Company news

Contact Energy (ASX:CEN) has announced that it intends to comply with New Zealand listing rules going forward. Contact says the new rule will apply to Contact's financial year 19 reporting of interim results. As a result, Contact will no longer publish a half-year report. Shares in Contact Energy (ASX:CEN) closed 0.7 per cent higher at $5.75 yesterday.

Currencies

One Australian Dollar at 8.30 AM was buying 72 US cents, 55.95 Pence Sterling, 77.88 Yen and 62.79 Euro cents.

Commodities

Iron Ore futures are 0.29 per cent higher.
Gold has gained $2.40 to US$1292 an ounce.
Silver has gained $0.02 to US$15.68 an ounce.
Oil has shed $0.90 to US$50.94 a barrel.