Oil war on the horizon: Aus shares to open lower

Market Reports

by Katrina Bullock

Australian shares are poised to open lower this morning following mixed leads from Wall Street. Tensions around the US/China trade deal continue as President Donald Trump meets with China's Vice Premier in Washington. The S&P500 continues its rally. Gold has gained $1.10. Oil however has retreated following news that Libya is on the precipice of an oil war. Libya’s eastern military commander Khalifa Haftar has ordered his forces to march into Tripoli to secure Libya’s oil fields.

Economic news

In local economic News today the ABS are expected to release Livestock and Meat figures for the month of February.

Markets

Wall Street closed mixed yesterday: The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.6 per cent to close at 26,385, the S&P 500 gained 0.2 per cent to close at 2,879 and the NASDAQ was down 0.1 per cent to close at 7892.

European markets closed mixed: London’s FTSE fell 0.2 per cent, Paris lost 0.1 per cent and Frankfurt closed 0.3 per cent higher.

Asian markets closed mixed, Tokyo’s Nikkei closed 0.1 per cent higher, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 0.2 per cent and China’s Shanghai Composite added 0.9 per cent.

The ASX futures are pointing to a fall of 9 points. Yesterday the Australian share market closed 0.8 per cent lower or 52 points lower at 6,233.

Company news

Retirement village developer, Summerset Group Holdings (ASX:SNZ) says they are seeing increased settlement times due to the slowing property market in Auckland and Christchurch. Summerset achieved 137 sales for the quarter ending 31 March 2019, comprising 71 new sales and 66 resales. These results are consistent with levels seen in the first quarter of 2018. Summerset CEO Julian Cook is not concerned by the market downturn and says that the company continues to have low levels of homes for resale available, with 40 uncontracted homes at 31 March compared to 53 at the end of 2018. He says they are tracking well despite flat property markets in Auckland and Christchurch. Shares in Summerset Group Holdings (ASX:SNZ) closed flat at $6.55 yesterday.

Ex-dividends

ARQ Group (ASX:ARQ) are paying 4.5 cents fully franked. 
Concentrated Leaders Fund (ASX:CLF) is paying 1.25 cents fully franked.
And Cyclopharm (ASX:CYC) is paying 0.5 cents unfranked.

Currencies

One Australian Dollar at 8:15 AM was buying 71.14 US cents, 54.41 Pence Sterling, 79.42 Yen and 63.40 Euro cents.

Commodities
Iron Ore futures suggest a 0.32 per cent gain.
Gold has gained $1.10 to US$1296 an ounce.
Silver is 1 cent higher at US$15.12 an ounce.
Oil has lost 28 cents to US$62.18 a barrel.