China growth beats expectations, Wall Street in red: Aus shares to open slightly higher

Market Reports

by Jessica Amir

The local share market is eyeing a flat finish for the week, but the futures are suggesting a slight rise at the open, after the Chinese economy sighted first quarter growth of 6.4 per cent, ahead of expectations, which sent the Australian dollar to 72 cents. 

And after a negative session on Wall Street with the top 500 losing 0.2 per cent, and the Dow Jones and the Nasdaq closing virtually flat, things might change for the Australian stock market sentiment today. 

US economic news

The US trade deficit narrowed to eight-month low in February, to the surprise of analyst, on a surge in plane exports, which may come under pressure after Boeing 737 Max planes have since been grounded. The deficit in goods and services fell from $51.1 billion to $49.4 billion, beating analysts’ expectations of a widening to $53.4 billion. It comes after US exports rose 1.1, offsetting the slight 0.2 per cent rise in US imports, according to the Commerce Department. 

Taking all of this into equation, the SPI futures are up 6 points. Yesterday the Australian share market closed 21 points (0.3 per cent) lower at 6,256. 

Local economic news

The ABS is expected to report March employment data. In February, the unemployment rate fell to 4.9 per cent, a rate that hasn’t been seen in 10 years. CBA economists’ expect 20,000 jobs to be added, and the unemployment rate to edge up to 5 per cent.

Markets

Wall Street closed lower yesterday: The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 0.01 per cent lower at 26,450, the S&P 500 dropped 0.2 per cent to close at 2900 and the NASDAQ fell 0.1 per cent to 7996.

European markets closed higher: London’s FTSE rose slightly, up 0.02 per cent, Paris added 0.6 per cent and Frankfurt gained 0.4 per cent.

Asian markets closed mixed, Tokyo’s Nikkei added 0.3 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 0.02 per cent and China’s Shanghai Composite gained 0.3 per cent.

Company news 

Australia’s largest ASX-listed income focused industrial investment vehicle Centuria Industrial Reit (ASX:CIP) has announced the interim dividend payable for the quarter ending 31 March 2019 will be $3.0001 per unit. Eligible holders will also be able to take part in its dividend reinvestment plan (DRP). Shares is Centuria Industrial Reit (ASX:CIP) closed 0.3 per cent higher at $3.03. Year-on-year its shares are trading 23 per cent higher. 

Traffic management company Redflex Holdings (ASX:RDF) announced a solid third quarter of FY19 with with new business orders growing 19 per cent on prior comparative period. It also expanded its programs in North America with new orders in the UK and Europe. Shares is Redflex Holdings (ASX:RDF) closed flat yesterday at $0.565. Year-on-year its shares are trading 26 per cent higher. 

Ex-Dividends

Kogan.com (ASX:KGN) is paying 6.1 cents fully franked
New Hope Corporation (ASX:NHC) is paying 8 cents fully franked
Turners Automotive (ASX:TRA) is paying 3.8154 cents 85 per cent franked
Universal Coal PLC (ASX:UNV) is paying 2 cents unfranked

Currencies

One Australian Dollar at 7:30 AM was buying 71.79 US cents, 55.08 Pence Sterling, 80.42 Yen and 63.57 Euro cents.

Commodities

Iron Ore futures suggest a 1.5 per cent drop.
Gold has lost $1.00 to US$1,276 an ounce.
Silver has added $0.02 to US$14.94 an ounce.
Oil has lost $0.53 to US$63.85 a barrel.
 

Jessica Amir

Finance News Network
Jessica joined FNN in January 2017 after having worked in financial advising for seven years and in TV journalism for seven years, specialising in finance, equities and analysis. She has interviewed former Prime Ministers of Australia, Tony Abbott, Julia Gillard and Kevin Rudd and ex Treasurer Jo Hockey. Jessica has worked as a journalist with Sky News Business, ABC 1, ABC's The Business, ABC24 and has also been a regional Channel 7 and 9 TV reporter with Prime7 and Win News.