Hopes raised for a coronavirus vaccine: ASX set to surge at the open

Following a surge from US markets overnight, the Australian share market looks set to open higher this morning. Late trade in New York saw the Dow up over 900 points. The boost to the markets came as hopes for a vaccine for Covid-19 looks promising. Also, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell says that he’s highly confident the US economy will ‘claw its way back from the current pullback’, but warned that it may not fully recover until a Covid-19 vaccine is complete. Back home there are reports China will impose a massive 80 per cent tariff on Australian barley imports from today, saying the product has been imported against trade rules. China's Foreign Ministry last week claimed the trade measures were not related to Australia's call for an investigation into the pandemic.

Local economic news 

The Reserve Bank of Australia will release their board meeting minutes for May at 11.30am AEST. The Australian Bureau of Statistics will release weekly payroll jobs and wages.


To the figures from around the globe: Wall Street closed higher yesterday: The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 3.9 per cent to close at 24,597 the S&P 500 added 3.2 per cent to close at 2954 and the NASDAQ closed 2.4 per cent higher at 9235.

European markets closed higher: London’s FTSE added 4.3 per cent, Paris gained 5.2 per cent and Frankfurt closed 5.7 per cent higher.

Asian markets closed higher, Tokyo’s Nikkei rose 0.5 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng added 0.6 per cent, and China’s Shanghai Composite closed 0.2 per cent higher.

Taking all of this into equation, the SPI futures are pointing to a 1.99 per cent gain.

Yesterday, the Australian share market closed 1.03 per cent higher at 5461.

Company news 

Michael Hill International jewellers (ASX:MHJ) today announced that further to updated medical advice, CEO Daniel Bracken will now require a period of a few weeks away from the business to aid his recovery from recent surgery. Accordingly, the Company has decided to appoint the current Chief Financial Officer, Andrew Lowe as Acting CEO for this period. The Group currently has nearly 300 stores globally across Australia, New Zealand and Canada which are temporarily closed. Shares in Michael Hill International (ASX:MHJ) closed 1.52 per cent lower $0.32 yesterday.


One Australian Dollar at 7:35 AM was buying 65.18 US cents, 53.49 Pence Sterling, 69.97 Yen and 60.26 Euro cents.


Iron Ore is 3.4 per cent higher at US$96.67.
Iron Ore futures suggest a 1.89 per cent gain.
Gold has fallen $21.90 to US$1734 an ounce.
Silver has added $0.40 to US$17.47 an ounce.
Oil was up $2.39 to US$31.82 a barrel.