Tech stocks rally in the US: ASX poised to open higher

Market Reports

by Rachael Jones

Australian shares are poised to open higher following on from the US where equities reached a five-month high. US government bonds stabilized. Tech shares rallied with Atlassian reaching a record high in the US and Apple rose over 4 per cent, its highest since before Christmas. Over in the UK, the Bank of England held interest rates steady as the date for Britain to leave the EU is still uncertain. Meanwhile, oil and gold declined.

Markets

Wall Street closed higher yesterday: The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 0.8 per cent higher at 25,963, the S&P 500 added 1.1 per cent to 2855 and the NASDAQ gained 1.4 per cent to 7839.

European markets closed mixed: London’s FTSE added 0.9 per cent, Paris shed 0.1 per cent and Frankfurt dropped 0.5 per cent.

Asian markets closed mixed, Tokyo’s Nikkei was closed,Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 0.9 per cent and China’s Shanghai Composite added 0.4 per cent.
 
Taking all of this into equation, the ASX futures are up 42 points. Yesterday the Australian share market closed 0.03 per higher or 2 points at 6167.

Company news

Education provider Navitas (ASX:NVT) has accepted a $2.3 billion takeover bid from private equity player BGH Consortium. The consortium will consist of the BGH Fund, AustralianSuper, entities associated with Mr Rodney Jones and certain limited partners of the BGH Fund who are co-investing with the other consortium members. BGH BidCo will acquire 100 per cent of the share capital of Navitas by way of a scheme of arrangement. Directors of the Perth-based company unanimously recommended the $5.825 share all-cash offer. Shares in Navitas (ASX:NVT) were placed on the trading halt yesterday but last traded at $5.62.

Communications software company MNF Group (ASX:MNF) has entered into an Asset Sale Agreement with Southern Phone Company to sell its fixed line residential broadband customer base. The transaction is expected to be completed by the end of March 2019. The company has retained its residential “MyNetFone” Voice-Over-IP customer base and its residential “PennyTel” mobile customer base. Shares in MNF Group (ASX:MNF) closed 0.3 per cent higher at $4.04 yesterday.

Ex-Dividends

Atlas Arteria (ASX:ALX) paying 15 cents unfranked

Currencies

One Australian Dollar at 7:45 AM was buying 71.12US cents, 54.28 Pence Sterling, 78.80 Yen and 62.54 Euro cents.

Commodities

Iron Ore futures suggest a 0.2 per cent gain
Gold has added $7.30 to US$1315 an ounce.
Silver has gained $0.15 to US$15.46 an ounce.
Oil was $0.36 lower at US$59.87 a barrel.
 

Rachael Jones

Finance News Network
Rachael comes to FNN after working for Fairfax Media covering international breaking news, including the global economy and politics. She joined FNN in February 2018. She has reported on Australia’s finance news for various organisations since 2000 and has also interviewed a number of key business players, including Bill Gates. Rachael has also worked across a number of countries, including the UK and the US.