US stocks finish mixed on Friday, but Dow posts best weekly performance since April 9: Aus shares to open higher

Market Reports

by Anna Napoli

US stocks closed mixed on Friday as US-China tensions dominated. The US Commerce Department said it was adding 33 Chinese companies and other institutions to an economic blacklist for human rights violations and to address U.S. national security concerns. But, investors capped a strong week of gains on the back of optimism around a potential coronavirus vaccine and the U.S. reopening its economy.

European sharemarkets were mixed on Friday as investors weighed news that China planned a new security law in Hong Kong. Firms exposed to Asia fell with Prudential down 9.3 pr cent, HSBC falling 5 per cent and Standard Chartered losing 2.4 per cent.

Back home Australian shares are expected to open higher although investors will carefully be watching a decision by China to bypass Hong Kong's laws by imposing its own national security law on the former British colony.

Markets

Wall Street closed mixed yesterday: The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.04 per cent per cent to close at 24,465. For the week, Dow gained 3.3 per cent to post its best weekly performance since April 9. the S&P 500 closed rose 0.2 per cent to close at 2955 and the NASDAQ closed 0.4 per cent higher at 9325.

European markets closed mixed: London’s FTSE lost 0.4 per cent, Paris dropped 0.02 per cent and Frankfurt closed 0.07 per cent higher.

Asian markets closed lower, Tokyo’s Nikkei fell 0.8 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng lost 5.6 per cent, and China’s Shanghai Composite closed 1.9 per cent lower.

Returning home, the SPI futures are pointing to a 65 point gain.

On Friday, the Australian share market closed or 1 per cent lower at 5497.

Economic news

The week kicks off on today when preliminary international trade data is issued for April, tomorrow the weekly consumer confidence figures are issued. On Wednesday the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) releases the “Construction Work Done” report. On Thursday, the ABS releases the report: “Private New Capital Expenditure and Expected Expenditure." Finally on Friday On Friday, the Reserve Bank releases private sector credit data for April.

Company news

Renewable energy company Tilt renewables has seen its earnings (EBITDAF) slide by 13 per cent to $118 million for the 2020 financial year. Net profit skyrocketed to $478 million from 12.2 million for the same time last year. Over the course of the year the company completed the financial close of the NZ$270M, Waipipi Wind Farm following execution of a 20-year offtake agreement with Genesis Energy. Tilt also successfully divested of the 270MW Snowtown 2 Wind Farm in a $1B transaction which produced a $486M profit on sale. Tilt's management says its business strategy and development activities had not been materially impacted by the pandemic and explained that there was the potential for new projects to be fast tracked to support economic recovery.. Shares in Tilt Renewables closed 2.4 per cent higher at $2.97 on Friday.

Ex Dividends

Elders (ASX:ELD) is paying 9 cents fully franked.

Currencies

One Australian Dollar at 7:30 AM was buying 65.34US cents, 53.72 Pence Sterling, 70.28 Yen and 59.95 Euro cents.

Commodities

Iron Ore futures suggest a 0.1 per cent fall
Gold shed $0.80 to US$1735 an ounce.
Silver is flat atUS$17.69 an ounce.
Light crude is 31 cents higher at $33.56