Australian shares are set for a positive start this morning following strong leads from Wall Street on Friday. Stocks in the US posted solid gains amid news of progress on US-China trade talks. Trade sensitive stocks rose the most with Boeing up 2 per cent. Meantime, energy shares were boosted by higher oil prices. Brent crude climbed to its highest this year as OPEC-led supply cuts.
Wall Street closed higher on Friday: The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 1.7 per cent to close at 25,883, the S&P 500 added 1.1 per cent to close at 2,776 and the NASDAQ increased 0.6 per cent to close at 7472.
European markets closed higher on Friday: London’s FTSE added 0.6 per cent, Paris gained 1.8 per cent and Frankfurt increased 1.9 per cent.
Asian markets closed lower on Friday: Tokyo’s Nikkei dropped 1.1 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 1.9 per cent while China’s Shanghai Composite was down 1.4 per cent.
Returning home, the SPI futures are up 53 points. On Friday, the Australian share market closed 0.1 per cent higher or 7 points higher to 6066.
Local Economic News
The week kicks off on Tuesday when the minutes from the Reserve Bank Board meeting earlier this month are released and the ABS is due to publish the Overseas Arrivals and Departures publication for December. On Wednesday, all eyes will be on the Wage Price Index Price Index and the Department of Jobs and Small Business will release the Skilled Vacancies and finally on Thursday, the all-important January employment report is released.
It’s another big week of earnings with a number of companies reporting today including Altium (ASX:ALU), Ansell (ASX:ANN), Brambles (ASX:BXB), GWA Group (ASX:GWA), iSelect (ASX:ISU), - McGrath (ASX:MEA), nib Health Funds (ASX:NHF), Perpetual Equity Investment Co (ASX:PIC).
Macquarie Media company has released its half year results for financial year 2019 with net profit, group revenues and earnings all down on a year on year basis. Net profit fell 6 per cent to $8.1 million, while earnings dropped almost 5 per cent to $15 million. The company says the decline in earnings was driven by a 0.4 per cent decline in revenue and a 1 per cent increase in costs. The company's results were also impacted by lower advertising spends in the December quarter. Macquarie Media says it is extremely difficult to forecast the impacts of the upcoming NSW and Federal elections combined with a subdued housing market and variable business and consumer confidence. FY19 earnings are expected to be in the range of $29 to $32 million. Shares in Macquarie Media (ASX:MRN) last traded at $1.90 on the 11th of Feb.
TABCORP Holdings (ASX:TAH) is paying 11c fully franked
One Australian Dollar at 7:40AM was buying 71.39 US cents, 55.28 Pence Sterling, 78.83 Yen and 63.18 Euro cents.
Iron ore futures suggest a 2.1 per cent gain.
Gold has gained $8.20 to US$1322 an ounce.
Silver has added $0.21 to US$15.74 an ounce.
Oil has gained $1.19 to US$55.98 a barrel.