Oil price volatility due to Midde East tensions: ASX poised to open higher

Market Reports

by Rachael Jones

Tensions between the US and the Middle East continue to make investors wary as European and Asian shares ended lower. The ASX is poised to open higher this morning. On the commodities front, oil rose on Monday but pared most of its earlier gains as it came to light that there has not been any supply disruption despite a heightened risk of missile attack after the US killed Iran’s most powerful general. Both gold and oil moved higher at the end of last week after the attack in Baghdad.

Local economic news 

AiG performance of manufacturing December


Wall Street closed higher yesterday: The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 0.2 per cent higher at 28,703, the S&P 500 gained 0.4 per cent to 3247 and the NASDAQ climbed 0.56 per cent to 9071.

European markets closed lower: London’s FTSE lost 0.6 per cent, Paris dipped 0.5 per cent and Frankfurt shed 0.7 per cent.

Asian markets closed mostly lower: Tokyo’s Nikkei lost 1.9 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 0.8 per cent and China’s Shanghai Composite closed flat

Taking all of this into equation, the SPI futures are pointing to a 0.5 per cent rise.

Yesterday, the Australian share market closed flat at 6736.

Company news

Biopharmaceutical company for eye diseases, Opthea (ASX:OPT) has completed patient recruitment into the Company’s Phase 2a trial. The trial will be evaluating the safety and efficacy of OPT-302 administered in combination with aflibercept (Eylea®) for treatment of diabetic macular edema (DME). DME is a complication of diabetes that is estimated to affect over 2 million people globally and is the leading cause of vision loss amongst the working-age population. Fluid from blood vessel leakage in the eye accumulates in the macula, or central portion of the retina, and the resultant swelling leads to blurred vision and blindness. Shares in Opthea (ASX:OPT) closed 2.5 per cent higher at $2.93 yesterday


Sealink Travel Group (ASX:SLK) is paying a dividend of 6.5 cents fully franked


One Australian Dollar at 8:45 AM was buying 69.42 US cents, 52.73 Pence Sterling, 75.25 Yen and 62.01 Euro cents.


Iron Ore has gained 1.1 per cent to US$95.61
Iron Ore futures suggest a 0.2 per cent rise.
Gold has added $15.30 to US$1568 an ounce.
Silver has gained $0.03 to US$18.18 an ounce.
Oil has lost $0.24 to US$62.81 a barrel.