US oil price plunges into negative territory: ASX poised to open lower

Market Reports

by Rachael Jones

Following weak leads from US markets, the Australian share market looks set to open lower this morning. As demand for oil collapses during the coronavirus pandemic, oil has traded in negative prices for the first time in United States history. With demand down 30 per cent worldwide, US storage hub are filling up. Back home Virgin Australia is expected to go into voluntary administration today losing up to 15,000 jobs. A board meeting of its international shareholders voted against providing more financial support.

Local economic news

The minutes of the RBA April 7 Board meeting are issued at 11.30am AEST. In its Statement, policymakers reaffirmed the 0.25 per cent cash rate and 3-year government bond yield targets.

ABS will provide a timely update on developments in the labour market.
And Roy Morgan and ANZ will also release the weekly reading of consumer sentiment.

To the figures from around the globe: Wall Street closed lower yesterday: The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 2.4 per cent to close 23,650 the S&P 500 dropped 1.8 per cent to 2823 and the NASDAQ closed 1.03 per cent lower at 8561.

European markets closed higher: London’s FTSE added 0.5 per cent, Paris gained 0.7 per cent and Frankfurt closed 0.5 per cent higher.

Asian markets closed mixed: Tokyo’s Nikkei fell 1.2 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng lost 0.2 per cent and China’s Shanghai Composite added 0.5 per cent.

Taking all of this into equation, the SPI futures are pointing to a 1 per cent fall.

Yesterday, the Australian share market closed 2.5 per cent lower at 5353.

Company news 

Tower insurance (ASX:TWR) reports that the estimates of the financial impact of cyclone Harold that passed through the Pacific Islands earlier this month is $10 million NZ. The company notes that COVID-19 restrictions and wide ranging communication outages resulted in the inability to access impacted locations particularly Vanuatu. Combined with the Timaru hailstorm earlier this year and cyclone Harold Tower activated their aggregate reinsurance cover. Shares in Tower insurance (ASX:TWR) closed 2.5 per cent higher at $0.62 yesterday.

Currencies

One Australian Dollar at 7:55 AM was buying 63.35 US cents, 50.93 Pence Sterling, 68.19 Yen and 58.29 Euro cents.

Commodities

Iron Ore has gained 1.5 per cent to $87.45
Iron Ore futures suggest a 1.1 per cent gain.
Gold has added $12.40 to US$1711 an ounce.
Silver has gained $0.31 to US$15.75 an ounce.
Oil was down $55.90 to US$negative 37.63 a barrel.