Wall Street mixed: Aus shares to open higher as investors review Federal Budget

Market Reports

by Anna Napoli

Australian shares are set to open higher as investors digest the Federal Government's budget. Wall Street ended mixed on Tuesday, US equities finished up from lows of the day as investors assessed a strong rally from the previous session. Bonds resumed their push higher. The Dow was dragged down for the first time in four days by the Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. after lower pharmacy reimbursements hurt earnings at the drugstore chain.

Back home Australian's will be mulling over the Federal Government's budget this morning. The government has announced a budget surplus forecast of $7.1 billion, the first in 12 years. A number of tax cuts were announced with $158 billion of additional tax relief for those earning up to $126,000 a year. And, the tax rate lowered from 32.5 per cent to 30 per cent from July 2024 for all taxpayers earning between $45,000 and $200,000. Small business was one of the big winners with tax rates to be cut to 25 per cent by 2021-22.

Local economic news

The ABS issues the international trade and retail trade data for February.

Markets

Taking a look at global markets: Wall Street closed mixed yesterday: The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 0.3 per cent lower at 26,179, the S&P 500 was flat at 2867 and the NASDAQ gained 0.3 per cent to 7849.

European markets closed higher: London’s FTSE rose 1 per cent, Paris was up 0.3 per cent and Frankfurt gained 0.6 per cent.

Asian markets closed mixed, Tokyo’s Nikkei was flat, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng dropped added 0.2 per cent and China’s Shanghai Composite rose 0.2 per cent.

Locally, the SPI futures are up 30 points. Yesterday the Australian share market closed 25 points higher at 6242.

Company news

Atrum Coal (ASX:ATU) has announced an initial resource estimate for its Panorama North Project located in north-west British Columbia, Canada. The coal miner says multiple seams have been intersected in fully cored holes across 17 sites drilled over the past 3 years. Successful drilling and field programs have placed the JV in a position to announce this maiden JORC resource of high-grade anthracite. Shares in Atrum Coal Ltd (ASX:ATU) closed flat at 24 cents yesterday.

Ex-Div

ARB (ASX:ARB)
Clime Capital (ASX:CAM)
Genesis Energy (ASX:SSG)
Perpetutal Equity (ASX:PIC)
Sigma Healthcare (ASX:SIG)

Currencies

One Australian Dollar at 7:35 AM was buying 70.70 US cents, 53.84 Pence Sterling, 78.72 Yen and 63.14 Euro cents.

Commodities

Iron Ore futures suggest a 2.8 per cent gain
Gold has added $1.80 to US$1296 an ounce.
Silver has Shed $0.02 to US$15.07 an ounce.
Oil gained $1.02 TO US$62.61 a barrel.