US stimulus package cause markets to rise for a second day: ASX set to open high

Market Reports

by Rachael Jones

As the US markets pared their gains, the Australian share market looks set to open higher this morning. The Dow Jones Industrial Average has jumped in the last two days as the White House and congressional leaders said they had agreed to a $2 trillion stimulus bill to combat the economic slowdown from the coronavirus pandemic. This bill will provide financial aid to people who have lost their jobs, and help industries. The US House of Representatives is also considering a $US40 billion plan to bail out the airline industry, suffering from travel bans because of the pandemic. Equities advanced in Europe and on the commodities front, oil has up slightly and gold has dropped over $25.

Local economic news 

The Australian Bureau of Statistics will release the Australian National Accounts for Finance and Wealth, December 2019.

Markets 

Wall Street closed mixed yesterday: The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 2.4 per cent to close 21,201, the S&P 500 gained 1.2 per cent to 2476 and the NASDAQ was down 0.5 per cent to 7384.

European markets closed higher: London’s FTSE gained 4.5 per cent, Paris added 4.5 per cent and Frankfurt closed up 1.8 per cent.

Asian markets closed higher: Tokyo’s Nikkei gained over 8 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng added 3.8 per cent and China’s Shanghai Composite was up 2.2 per cent.

Taking all of this into equation, the SPI futures are pointing to a 2.1 per cent gain.

Yesterday, the Australian share market closed 5.5 per cent higher at 4998.

Company news 

New Zealand electricity company Mercury’s (ASX:MCY) appointed Chief Executive, Vince Hawksworth, will take up his position with the company on Monday 30 March. Mercury’s Chair, Prue Flacks, said it was greatly appreciated that Trustpower had agreed Mr Hawksworth, who was the former Chief Executive of Trustpower, could bring his start date forward from the previously announced 28 April. She said “A lot of activity is underway in relation to Mercury’s and the energy sector’s response to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Given these extraordinary times, it has been agreed that Vince will join the team early and will assist Mercury to manage its response in a way that supports our people, communities and the country,”. Shares in Mercury NZ (ASX:MCY) closed flat at $3.66 yesterday.

Ex-Dividends

BSA Limited (ASX:BSA) is paying 0.5 cents fully franked
Freedom Food Ltd (ASX:FNP) is paying 2.25 cents unfranked
Healius (ASX:HLS) is paying 2.6 cents fully franked
Japara Healthcare Ltd (ASX:JHC) is paying 2 cents 50 per cent franked
Lindsay Australia (ASX:LAU) is paying 1 cent fully franked
Mastermyne Group Ltd (ASX:MYE) is paying 2 cents fully franked
Neometals Ltd (ASX:NMT) is paying 2 cents 7 per cent franked
Vita Group Ltd (ASX:VTG) is paying 5.3 cents fully franked

Currencies

One Australian Dollar at 8:00 AM was buying 59.60 US cents, 50.17 Pence Sterling, 66.28 Yen and 54.77 Euro cents.

Commodities

Iron Ore has gained 4 per cent to $87.34.
Iron Ore futures suggest a 5.1 per cent gain.
Gold has dropped $25.40 to US$1638 an ounce.
Silver has added $0.39 to US$14.64 an ounce.
Oil was up $0.28 to US$24.29 a barrel.
 

Rachael Jones

Finance News Network
Rachael comes to FNN after working for Fairfax Media covering international breaking news, including the global economy and politics. She joined FNN in February 2018. She has reported on Australia’s finance news for various organisations since 2000 and has also interviewed a number of key business players, including Bill Gates. Rachael has also worked across a number of countries, including the UK and the US.