Wall Street posts mixed finish: Aus shares set for soft start

Market Reports

by Anna Napoli

Australian shares are set for a soft start this morning following a mixed session in the US on Friday. The Dow Jones fell as investors continued to worry about ongoing US–China trade negotiations. However shares of Coty, Mattel and Motorola lifted after positive earnings results. The spot price of iron ore could jump today as Chinese markets reopen after last week's Lunar New Year Break. This could see the share prices of mining companies such as BHP and Rio Tinto trade higher.

Local Economic News

The week kicks off on Tuesday, when the ABS releases its Lending to Households & Business publication, and The January business survey is due out from National Australia Bank. On Wednesday we can expect the monthly consumer confidence figures from the Westpac/Melbourne Institute.

Reporting Season

It’s another big week of earnings with a number of companies reporting today including Amcor (ASX:AMC),  Aurizon Holdings (ASX:AZJ), Bendigo & Adelaide Bank (ASX:BEN),  Charter Hall Long WALE REIT (ASX:CLW),  GPT Group Stapled Securities (ASX:GPT) and JB Hi-Fi (ASX:JBH).

Markets

Wall Street closed mixed on Friday: The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 0.3 per cent to close at 25,106, the S&P 500 added 0.1 per cent to close at 2,708 and the NASDAQ gained 0.1 per cent to close at 7298.

European markets closed lower on Friday: London’s FTSE fell 0.3 per cent, Paris dropped 0.5 per cent and Frankfurt lost 1.1 per cent.

Asian markets closed lower on Friday: Tokyo’s Nikkei dropped 2.01 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 0.2 per cent while China’s Shanghai Composite was closed.

Returning home, the SPI futures are down 4 points. On Friday, the Australian share market closed 0.34 per cent lower or 21 points lower 6071.

Company news

Metro Mining (ASX:MMI) has announced the resignation of non-executive director Mr Lindsay Ward. His resignation is due to a recent appointment to the Board of another listed public company. Mr Ward has served as a director of Metro Mining since 2011. A search for a new Non-Executive Director has commenced and it is expected an appointment will be made in March. Shares in Metro Mining (ASX:MMI) closed flat at $0.15 on Friday.

Currencies

One Australian Dollar at 7:40AM was buying 70.93 US cents, 54.81 Pence Sterling, 77.78 Yen and 62.62 Euro cents.

Commodities

Gold has gained $4.30 to US$1319 an ounce.
Silver has added $0.10 to US$15.81 an ounce.
Oil has gained $0.08 to US$52.72 a barrel.