The local sharemarket is set for a flat start to the week despite US markets closing up by as much as 1 per cent on Friday. The Nasdaq and the S&P 500 both hit six-month highs. Meantime, shares in Walt Disney lifted almost 12 per cent after the company announced a new streaming service. JP Morgan kicked off the corporate earnings season with better-than-expected results which saw its shares trade 5 per cent higher. The results bolstered the financial sector which saw a gain of close to 2 per cent. Stronger-than-expected exports data out China also lifted stocks. Exports in China rose 14.2 percent last month, nearly double what economists expected.
Global oil prices rose on Friday on the back of supply cuts from Venezuela and Iran plus conflict in Libya.
To the figures from around the globe: Wall Street closed higher on Friday: The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained over 1 per cent to close at 26,412, the S&P 500 added 0.7 per cent to close at 2,907 and the NASDAQ closed 0.5 per cent higher at 7984.
European markets closed higher on Friday: London’s FTSE added 0.3 per cent, Paris gained 0.3 per cent and Frankfurt rose 0.5 per cent.
Asian markets closed mixed on Friday: Tokyo’s Nikkei gained 0.7per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng added 0.2 per cent while China’s Shanghai Composite closed 0.04 per cent lower.
Returning home, the SPI futures are pointing to a flat start. On Friday, the Australian share market closed 0.9 per cent higher or 53 points at 6251.
Local economic news
The week kicks off on Tuesday when the Reserve Bank will release minutes of its April monetary policy meeting. On Wednesday, the Commonwealth Bank issues the Business Sales Indicator for March and on Thursday, the all-important March jobs report is released.
Wealth Manager, IOOF (ASX: IFL) has been served with a class action proceeding, on behalf of certain shareholders, who allege the company engaged in deceptive conduct and breached sharemarket disclosure obligations. IOOF says the claim appears to be based upon evidence given at the recent Royal Commission, and, the fact that APRA has commenced legal proceedings against certain IOOF officers. The company says the class action claim is speculative and without foundation. The suit was filed in the NSW Supreme Court in Sydney by law firm Quinn Emmanuel. Shares in IOOF Holdings(ASX:IFL) closed 2.65 per cent higher at $6.59 on Friday.
Plato Income Maximiser Ltd (ASX:PL8) is paying 0.5 cents fully franked
TPG Telecom Limited (ASX:TPM) is paying 2 cents fully franked
One Australian Dollar at 7:40AM was buying 71.81 US cents, 54.95 Pence Sterling, 80.43 Yen and 63.54 Euro cents.
Iron ore futures suggest a 0.3 per cent fall.
Gold has added $1.90 to US$1295 an ounce.
Silver has gained $0.10 to US$14.96 an ounce.
Oil has risen $0.35 to US$64.02 a barrel.