The Australian sharemarket looks set for a flat start this morning despite modest gains on Wall Street on Friday. But the gains were not enough to offset weekly losses. The Dow posted its fifth consecutive weekly decline, its longest losing streak since 2011. The three major indexes rebounded slightly from Thursday's sharp losses following President Trump's comments that the trade war could be over quickly.
Oil prices rose Friday ahead of U.S. and UK long weekends, but posted their biggest weekly drop of the year, pressured by rising US inventories and concerns over an economic slowdown. Meantime iron ore has hit a five year high on the back of supply concerns which may boost local energy stocks today
Local economic news
On Thursday the ABS will release the Private New Capital Expenditure and Expected Expenditure (March quarter) as well as the council approvals to build new homes (leading indicators for home building). On Friday the Reserve Bank is due to release the Private Sector credit figures and data from APRA on credit card spending is also due out.
Wall Street closed higher on Friday: The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.4per cent to close at 25,586, the S&P 500 gained 0.1 per cent to close at 2826and the NASDAQrose 0.1 per cent to 7637.
European markets closed higher on Friday: London’s FTSE added 0.7 per cent, Paris gained 0.7 per cent and Frankfurt rose 0.5 per cent.
Asian markets closed mixed on Friday: Tokyo’s Nikkei fell 0.2 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng added0.3 per cent while China’s Shanghai Composite gained 0.02 per cent.
Returning home, the SPI futures are down 2 points. On Friday, the Australian share market closed 36 points (0.6 per cent) lower at 6456.
TPG Telecom (ASX:TPM) and Vodafone Hutchison Australia have filed a case with the Federal Court of Australia seeking orders that their proposed $15 billion merger would not hurt competition in the telecoms sector. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission rejected the proposed merger earlier this month, saying that the move would remove competition from market. Shares in TPG Telecom(ASX:TPM) closed 0.64 per cent lower at $6.25 on Friday.
Contango Income Generator Ltd (ASX:CIE) is paying 1.06 cents 75 per cent franked
Elders Limited (ASX:ELD) is paying 9 cents fully franked
Whitefield Ltd (ASX:WHF) is paying 10 cents fully franked
Turning to currencies
One Australian Dollar at 7:40 AM was buying 69.32 US cents, 54.51 Pence Sterling, 75.79 Yen and 61.86 Euro cents.
Iron Ore futures suggest a 2.95 per cent gain.
Gold has dropped $1.80 to US$1289 an ounce.
Silver was down 6 cents to US$14.55 an ounce.
Oil has added 72 cents to US$58.63 a barrel.