Wall Street slides: Aus shares to drop at open

Market Reports

by Anna Napoli

Australian shares look set for a weaker start this morning following a volatile session on Wall Street. US stocks opened on a positive note but staged a marked turnaround on Monday giving back their gains. The catalyst for the sell off is not clear but some investors are suggesting the market is overextended following a solid run of gains. We did also see some weak economic data from the Commerce Department, construction spending dropped 0.6 percent in December, missing economists forecast of a 0.2 percent gain.

Local Economic News

The Reserve Bank Board meets but no change in interest rates is expected, and, the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries releases the February new vehicle sales figures.

Markets

Wall Street closed lower: The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.8 per cent to close at 25,820, the S&P 500 shed 0.4 per cent to close at 2,793 and the NASDAQ was down 0.2 per cent to close at 7578.

European markets closed mixed: London’s FTSE added 0.4 per cent, Paris added 0.4 per cent and Frankfurt closed 0.1 per cent lower.

Asian markets closed higher, Tokyo’s Nikkei closed over 1 per cent higher, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng added 0.5 per cent and China’s Shanghai Composite gained 1.1 per cent.

Returning home, the SPI futures are down 43 points. Yesterday the Australian share market closed 0.4 per cent higher or 25 points at 6217.

Company news

Macquarie Group (ASX:MQG) has opened its offer of Macquarie Group Capital Notes 4. The Offer consists of an Institutional Offer, a Broker Firm Offer and a Securityholder Offer. The Margin was set at 4.15 per cent per annum, which was at the bottom of the expected Margin range of 4.15 per cent to 4.35 per cent per annum. Macquarie has allocated $750 million in firm commitments to Syndicate Brokers and Institutional Investors. The final size of the Offer will depend on the volume of Applications received and accepted. Shares in Macquarie Group (ASX:MQG) closed 0.52 per cent higher at $129.90 yesterday.

Ex-dividends

Capitol Health (ASX:CAJ) is paying 0.5 cents fully franked
Estia Health Ltd (ASX:EHE) is paying 8 cents fully franked
Mayfield Childcare Ltd (ASX:MFD) is paying 8.97 cents fully franked
Money3 Corporation (ASX:MNY) is paying 5 cents fully franked
Medibank Private Ltd (ASX:MPL) is paying 5.7 cents fully franked
Nick Scali Limited (ASX:NCK) is paying 25 cents fully franked
Nine Entertainment (ASX:NEC) is paying 5 cents fully franked
Oil Search Ltd (ASX:OSH ) is paying 11.8881 cents unfranked
Platinum Asia Ltd (ASX:PAI) is paying 2 cents fully franked
Resimac Group Ltd (ASX:RMC) is paying 1 cents fully franked
St Barbara Limited (ASX:SBM) is paying 4 cents fully franked
Spheria Emerging Co (ASX:SEC) is paying 2 cents fully franked
Spark Infrastructure (ASX:SKI) is paying 8 cents unfranked

Currencies

One Australian Dollar at 8:45 AM was buying 70.94 US cents, 53.83 Pence Sterling, 79.26 Yen and 62.56 Euro cents.

Commodities

Iron Ore has shed 0.3 per cent to at US$87.69. It futures suggest a 2.4 per cent fall.
Gold has shed$11.70 to US$1288 an ounce.
Silver has dropped $0.16 to US$15.10 an ounce.
Oil has increased $0.65 to US$56.45 a barrel.