Dow and S&P 500 slide lower: ASX poised for a flat open

Market Reports

by Rachael Jones

Australian shares are poised to open flat as stocks in the US drifted lower as the deal with China rumbles on. President Donald Trump has extended the deal past the 1st of March. US investors are also fixated on a Congressional hearing about Trump’s political controversies. Meanwhile Trump is currently holding his .second meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Gold has shed almost $7.

Reporting companies 

- Adelaide Brighton (ASX:ABC)
- Atlas Arteria (ASX:ALX)
- Cromwell Property Group (ASX:CMW)
- Freedom Foods Group (ASX:FNP)
- Ingham’s Group (ASX:ING)
- Northern Star Resources (ASX:NST)
- Pilbara Minerals (ASX:PLS)
- Ramsay Health Care (ASX:RHC)
- Reece Group (ASX:REH)

Economic News 

We can expect to see Private capital expenditure fourth quarter, and Private sector credit January; from the Australian bureau of statistics later today.

Markets

Wall Street closed mixed yesterday: The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.3 per cent to close at 25,985, the S&P 500 shed 0.1 per cent to close at 2,792 and the NASDAQ was up 0.1 per cent to close at 7555.

European markets closed lower: London’s FTSE fell 0.6 per cent, Paris lost 0.3 per cent and Frankfurt closed 0.5 per cent lower.

Asian markets closed mixed, Tokyo’s Nikkei closed 0.5 per cent higher,Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 0.1 per cent and China’s Shanghai Composite added 0.4 per cent.

Taking all of this into equation, the ASX futures are down 1 point. Yesterday the Australian share market closed 0.4 per cent higher or 22 points at 6150.

Company news

Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) has announced record returns to shareholders of US$13.5 billion including final dividend of $3.1 billion and special dividend of US$4.0 billion. This will be funded with the proceeds from the sale of its Grasberg copper mine in Indonesia and the sale of its Dunkerque aluminium smelter in France. Underlying EBITDA for the 12 months ending on December 31 is at US$18.1 a drop of 2 per cent from last year's US$18.6 billion. Underlying earnings rose to US$8.81 billion, from $8.63 billion a year earlier, after its copper and minerals divisions beat expectations, offsetting higher aluminum costs. Iron ore shipments increased 2 per cent. Shares in Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) closed 0.6 per cent higher at $95.12 yesterday.

Currencies

One Australian Dollar at 8:40 AM was buying 71.42 US cents, 53.67 Pence Sterling, 79.28 Yen and 62.82 Euro cents.

Commodities

Iron Ore futures suggest a 0.4 per cent gain.
Gold has shed $6.90 to US$1322 an ounce.
Silver has dropped $0.15 to US$15.78 an ounce.
Oil has increased $1.47 to US$56.97 a barrel.

Ex-dividends

Auswide Bank (ASX:ABA) is paying 16c fully franked
Australian Ethical Investment (ASX:AEF) is paying 2c fully franked
Appen (ASX:APX) is paying 4 cents 73 per cent franked
AVJennings (ASX:AVJ) is paying 1 cents fully franked
Baby Bunting Group (ASX:BBN) is paying 3.3 cents fully franked
Barrack St Investments (ASX:BST) is paying 1.5 cents fully franked
Capral (ASX:CAA) is paying 1 cents fully franked
Carlton Investments (ASX:CIN) is paying 55 cents fully franked
Fortescue Metals Group (ASX:FMG) is paying 30 cents fully franked
MCP Master Income Trust (ASX:MXT) is paying 0.96 cents unfranked
NIB Holdings (ASX:NHF) is paying 10 cents fully franked
Platinum Asset Management (ASX:PTM) is paying 13 cents fully franked
Smartgroup Corporation (ASX:SIQ) is paying 21 cents fully franked
SKYCITY Entertainment Group (ASX:SKC) is paying 9.5075 cents unfranked
Wellcom Group (ASX:WLL) is paying 11 cents fully franked
Woolworths Group (ASX:WOW) is paying 45 cents fully franked