Brent crude futures hit a 20-year low: 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. The world's tally of confirmed coronavirus cases has passed 2.5 million. In Australia, 24 cases have been reported in the past 24 hours. Netflix has seen a big jump in subscribers but the stock bounced around after their earnings release. It was initially up 10 per cent before falling less than 1 per cent. Brent crude has hit a 20 year low causing Wall Street to retreat for a second day. The Aussie dollar slipped back.

Local economic news

Retail Trade, Preliminary, March 2020 from ABS

Markets

Wall Street closed lower yesterday: The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 2.7 per cent to close 23,019 the S&P 500 dropped 3.1 per cent to 2737 and the NASDAQ closed down 3.5 per cent to 8263.

European markets closed lower: London’s FTSE lost 3 per cent, Paris lost 3.8 per cent and Frankfurt closed lost 4 per cent.

Asian markets closed lower: Tokyo’s Nikkei lost 2 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng lost 2.2 per cent and China’s Shanghai Composite closed lost 0.9 per cent.

Taking all of this into equation, the SPI futures are pointing to a 109 point fall.

Yesterday, the Australian share market closed 132 points lower at 5221.

Company news 

Virtus Health (ASX:VRT) supports today’s decision by the Australian Federal Government to lift the suspension on elective surgery, including Assisted Reproductive Services. The company has also introduced COVID-19 testing for patients. Fertility services will resume from 27 April with increased infection control and safety protocols. Due to Singapore’s continued low community transmission, Virtus Health’s Singapore clinic, the Virtus Fertility Centre, has remained open. In Europe – the Trianglen Fertility Clinic in Copenhagen, Denmark reopened on 20 April 2020 and will operate seven days a week. All Virtus clinics in Ireland and the United Kingdom remain closed. Shares in Virtus Health (ASX:VRT) closed 6.1 per cent higher at $2.79.

Ex-Dividends

Washington H Soul Pattinson (ASX:SOL) paying 25 cents fully franked.

Currencies

One Australian Dollar at 8:00AM was buying 62.87 US cents, 51.14 Pence Sterling, 67.77 Yen and 57.92 Euro cents.

Commodities

Iron Ore futures suggest a 2.8 per cent fall.
Gold has risen $14.70 to US$1703 an ounce.
Silver has added $0.10 to US$15.09 an ounce.
Oil was up $1.31 to US$12.88 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.