An uncertain week ahead for oil prices: ASX poised to open higher

Market Reports

by Rachael Jones

The Australian share market looks set to open higher as the battle against coronavirus continues around the world. Chief Medical Officer Brendan Murphy says he is "increasingly confident" Australia will avoid the kind of devastation the virus has caused in countries like Italy and the United States. The US economy shed over 700,000 jobs in March, abruptly ending a historic 113 straight months of employment growth. Meanwhile, Euro zone governments raise 27 billion euros in March bond rush to fight virus damage. On the commodities front, OPEC are working on a deal for an unprecedented oil production cut equivalent to around 10 per cent of worldwide supply in what they expect will be a global effort including the United States. US drillers cut 62 oil rigs in the week to April 3, the biggest weekly drop since March 2015. 

Markets

Wall Street closed lower on Friday: The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 1.7 per cent to close at 21,053, the S&P 500 lost 1.5 per cent to close at 2489 and the NASDAQ fell 1.5 per cent to 7373.

European markets closed lower on Friday: London’s FTSE fell 1.2 per cent, Paris shed 1.6 per cent and Frankfurt closed 0.5 per cent lower.

Asian markets closed mostly lower on Friday: Tokyo’s Nikkei closed flat, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng dropped 0.2 per cent and China’s Shanghai Composite fell 0.6 per cent.

Taking all of this into equation, the SPI futures are pointing to 0.9 per cent gain. On Friday, the Australian share market closed 86.82 points (1.7 per cent) lower at 5067.

Local economic news

Monday

Melbourne Institute releases its monthly inflation gauge and ANZ will release data on job ads for March

Tuesday

Reserve Bank Board to meet

ABS February international trade

Wednesday

ABS issues the February Lending Indicators publication.

Thursday

Reserve Bank issues the semi-annual Financial Stability Review.

Company news 

Fisher & Paykel Healthcare (ASX:FPH) say they have almost 5,000 people around the world focussed on meeting the increased demand for our respiratory products in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. Chief Financial Officer Lyndal York says this time of year our financial controllers in our global offices would usually be dedicated to completing year end reporting. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, many of these people are currently working remotely – assisting with customer enquiries, getting product into the hands of customers and providing operational support. She says the patients needs must take priority. Due to this the company’s results for the year ended 31 March 2020 will be released on Monday, 29 June 2020, instead of Thursday, 28 May 2020, as previously advised. Shares in Fisher & Paykel Healthcare (ASX:FPH) closed 1.49 per cent lower at $29.16 on Friday.

Currencies

One Australian Dollar at 8:00 AM was buying 59.99 US cents, 49.09 Pence Sterling, 65.08 Yen and 55.48 Euro cents.

Commodities

Iron Ore has dropped 0.5 per cent to US$83.30
Iron Ore futures suggest a 1.4 per cent gain.
Gold gained $8.00 to US$1646 an ounce.
Silver was down $0.16 cents to US$14.49 an ounce.
Oil has gained $3.02 to US$28.34 a barrel.