Wall St posts weekly losses: Aus shares to start week in negative territory

Market Reports

by Anna Napoli

Australian shares look set to open lower following a negative session on Wall Street. US sharemarkets fell on Friday and posted weekly losses. The indexes shed most of their earlier gains after Iran said it captured a British oil tanker. The news pushed the crude price higher. Investors also readied themselves for a more modest rate cut by The Federal Reserve next week after comments from New York Federal Reserve President John Williams. It wasn't all bad news though, Microsoft hit a record high after the tech giant posted quarterly earnings and revenue that topped analyst expectations.

Local economic news

Today the Commonwealth Bank issues its Business Sales Index for June. On Tuesday, the Reserve Bank’s, Assistant Governor (Financial Markets), provides a speech at a Bloomberg function. On Wednesday, the Commonwealth Bank’s ‘flash’ services and manufacturing figures for July are issued. Also on Wednesday, the Department of Employment releases the Internet Vacancy Index for June. And on Thursday the Reserve Bank Governor rounds-out the week with his annual speech at the The Anika Foundation Luncheon in Sydney.

Markets

Wall Street closed lower on Friday: The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 0.3 per cent to close at 27,154, the S&P 500 fell 0.6 per cent to close at 2977 and the NASDAQ dropped 0.7 per cent to 8146.

European markets closed higher on Friday: London’s FTSE added 0.2 per cent, Paris added 0.03 per cent and Frankfurt was up 0.3 per cent.

Asian markets closed higher on Friday: Tokyo’s Nikkei added 2.00 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rose 1.1 per cent and China’s Shanghai Composite gained 0.8 per cent.

Returning home, the SPI futures are pointing to 0.4 per cent fall. On Friday, the Australian share market closed 51 points (0.8 per cent) higher at 6700.

Company news

Global litigation funder, IMF Bentham (ASX:IMF) has announced that a confidential partial settlement has been reached in an Australian case it has funded which is held on its balance sheet. The settlement has been reached with one of two defendants and the terms remain confidential whilst the case proceeds against the remaining defendant. IMF currently expects to receive revenue of approximately $7.5 million from this partial settlement. Shares in IMF Bentham (ASX:IMF) closed 0.63 per cent higher at $3.20 on Friday.

Currencies

One Australian Dollar at 7:40 AM was buying 70.48 US cents, 56.38 Pence Sterling, 75.96 Yen and 62.84 Euro cents.

Commodities

Iron Ore futures suggest a 0.3 per cent fall
Gold has dropped $1.60 to US$1427 an ounce.
Silver was up 3 cents to US$16.23 an ounce.
Oil has added $0.44 to US $55.86 a barrel.