Markets fall on doubts over Covid-19 vaccine: ASX poised to open lower

Market Reports

by Rachael Jones

After Covid-19 vaccine hopes were questioned yesterday, US markets fell overnight. The Australian share market now looks set to open lower this morning. Vaccine candidate Moderna seemed to be generating an immune response in Phase 1 trial subjects. The company’s stock valuation surged to USD$29 billion. But now experts say there is no real way to know how successful the vaccine could be. On the commodities front, gold lifted as did oil. 

Local economic news due out today

Retail Trade, Preliminary, April 2020 from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Markets 

Wall Street closed lower yesterday: The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 1.59 per cent to close at 24,207, the S&P 500 fell 1.05 per cent to close at 2923 and the NASDAQ closed 0.54 per cent lower at 9185.

European markets closed mixed: London’s FTSE fell 0.8 per cent, Paris lost 0.9 per cent and Frankfurt closed 0.2 per cent higher.

Asian markets closed higher, Tokyo’s Nikkei rose 1.5 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng added 1.9 per cent, and China’s Shanghai Composite closed 0.8 per cent higher.

Taking all of this into equation, the SPI futures are pointing to a 1.49 per cent fall.

Yesterday, the Australian share market closed 1.8 per cent higher at 5560.

Company news

New Zealand’s biggest construction company Fletcher Buildling (ASX:FBU) is looking at reducing the number of people employed by approximately 10 per cent. This will equate to around 1,000 positions across New Zealand. In Australia they expect this would result in a workforce reduction of 500. 90 per cent of NZ employees were placed on Bridging Pay Programme1 during lockdown. CEO Ross Taylor says the impact of the Covid-19 restrictions over the past two months has been“significant”, especially in New Zealand as a result of the level 4 lockdown. Shares in Fletcher Building (ASX:FBU) closed 0.96 per cent higher at $3.17 yesterday.

Currencies

One Australian Dollar at 7:45 AM was buying 65.35 US cents, 53.37 Pence Sterling, 70.38 Yen and 59.83 Euro cents.

Commodities

Iron Ore is 1.6 per cent higher at US$98.36.
Iron Ore futures suggest a 1.57 per cent gain.
Gold has gained $11.20 to US$1745.60 an ounce.
Silver has added $0.43 to US$17.90 an ounce.
Oil was up $0.68 to US$32.50 a barrel.