The Australian market is set to defy positive leads from Wall Street to open lower. The US market saw strong results in the Financial and Tech sectors overnight, however Healthcare stocks took a dip ahead of earnings season. On the commodities front, oil prices are stable despite uncertainty caused by the ongoing conflict in Libya and a decrease in Venezuelan and Iranian exports.
US economic news
The Federal Reserve reported a fall of 0.1 per cent for industrial production in March. The index declined 0.3 per cent at an annual rate. The index for utilities rose 0.2 percent, while mining output shed 0.8 per cent. Manufacturing production was flat. Total industrial production was 2.8 per cent higher in March compared to the previous March. Capacity utilisation for the industrial sector decreased 0.2 percentage points in March to 78.8 per cent, that's 1 percentage point below its long-run average.
Local economic news
We are expecting the Commonwealth Bank to issue the Business Sales Indicators for March.
The SPI futures are down 17 points. Yesterday the Australian share market closed 26 points (or 0.4 per cent) higher at 6,277.
Wall Street closed higher yesterday: The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 0.3 per cent higher at 26,453, the S&P 500 added 0.1 per cent to close at 2907 and the NASDAQ gained 0.3 per cent to 8,000.
European markets closed higher: London’s FTSE rose 0.4 per cent, Paris also added 0.4 per cent and Frankfurt gained 0.7 per cent.
Asian markets closed higher: Tokyo’s Nikkei added 0.2 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 1.1 per cent and China’s Shanghai Composite increased 2.4 per cent.
Diversified financial service provider, Eclipx Group (ASX:ECX) has announced the retirement of Chief Financial Officer and an Executive Director, Garry McLennan. Mr McLennan will step down from the Board immediately and will retire from his role as CFO in six months, or earlier if a successor is appointed. He has served as CFO and an Executive Director of Eclipx since January 2014. Eclipx Group (ASX:ECX) was the top performing stock on ASX200 yesterday, closing over 9 per cent higher at 91 cents.
Investment company, Washington H. Soul Pattinson and Co. (ASX:SOL) is paying 24 cents fully franked.
One Australian Dollar at 7:35 AM was buying 71.76 US cents, 55.00 Pence Sterling, 80.36 Yen and 63.61 Euro cents.
Iron Ore futures suggest a 1.8 per cent drop.
Gold has dropped $11.80 to US$1,280 an ounce.
Silver has fallen 2 cents to US$14.96 an ounce.
Oil added 78 cents to US$64.46 a barrel.