Wall Street mixed: Aus shares to open higher as investors await results

Market Reports

by Anna Napoli

Australian shares look set to open higher this morning as investors await earnings results. US sharemarkets were mixed on Monday, Investors were focused on US-China trade talks. U.S. and Chinese officials will continue trade talks this week with a focus on intellectual property. The possibility of another US government shutdown this Friday added to investors concerns.

Local Economic News

Today the ABS releases its Lending to Households & Business publication, and the January business survey is due out from National Australia Bank.

Reporting Season

It’s another big day of earnings with a number of companies reporting today including Challenger Ltd Australia (ASX:CGF) which I will touch on later, Reckon (ASX:RKN) and Transurban Group (ASX:TCL).

Markets

Wall Street closed mixed yesterday: The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.2 per cent to close at 25,053, the S&P 500 added 0.1 per cent to close at 2,710 and the NASDAQ was up 0.1 per cent to close at 7308.

European markets closed higher: London’s FTSE added 0.8 per cent, Paris gained 1.1 per cent and Frankfurt was up almost 1 per cent.

Asian markets closed mostly higher, Tokyo’s Nikkei was closed, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng closed 0.7 per cent higher and China’s Shanghai Composite gained 1.4 per cent.

the SPI futures are up 24 points. Yesterday the Australian share market closed 0.2 per cent lower or 11 points to 6061.

Ex-Div

G.U.D. Holdings (ASX:GUD) is paying 25 cents fully franked
Greencross (ASX:GXL) is paying 19 cents fully franked
Insurance Australia (ASX:IAG) is paying 12 cents fully franked

Company news

Investment management firm, Challenger (ASX:CGF) has announced its (normalized) net profit after tax fell 4 per cent to $200 million for the six months to December 2018. Total assets under management rose 2 per cent to $78.4 billion. Challenger says its performance has been impacted by a number of challenging operating conditions including market volatility, industry disruption and political uncertainty. Shares in Challenger (ASX:CGF) closed 1.63 per cent lower to $7.83 yesterday.

Currencies

One Australian Dollar at 8:40AM was buying 70.63 US cents, 54.93 Pence Sterling, 77.96 Yen and 62.65 Euro cents.

Commodities

Iron Ore futures suggest a 0.7 per cent fall.
Gold has fallen $6.90 to US$1312 an ounce.
Silver has lost $0.11 to US$15.70 an ounce.
Oil has dropped $0.33 to US$52.39 a barrel.