Second Covid cluster grows in NSW: ASX poised to open slightly higher


Following mixed results US markets overnight, the Australian share market looks set to open slightly higher this morning. New South Wales reported 18 new Covid-19 cases yesterday, the biggest increase in three months. Tighter restrictions loom with Victoria recording 363 new cases yesterday and no clear sign that numbers are decreasing. Elsewhere Hong Kong has tightened their restrictions as cases hit a record high.

Markets

Wall Street closed mixed on Friday: The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 0.2 per cent to close at 26,672, the S&P 500 gained 0.3 per cent to close at 3225 and the NASDAQ closed 0.3 per cent higher at 10,503.

European markets closed mixed: London’s FTSE added 0.6 per cent, Paris lost 0.3 per cent and Frankfurt closed 0.4 per cent higher.

Asian markets closed mixed, Nikkei lost 0.3 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng added 0.5 per cent and China’s Shanghai Composite gained 0.1 per cent.

Taking all of this into equation, the SPI futures are pointing to 0.03 per cent gain.

On Friday, the Australian share market gained 23 points to close at 6034.

Local economic news due out this week

The week kicks off on Tuesday, with a speech delivered by the Reserve Bank Governor, Philip Lowe, to the Anika Foundation luncheon. Also on Tuesday, the regular weekly survey on consumer confidence is issued by ANZ and Roy Morgan. CommBank (CBA) releases the weekly measure of credit and debit card spending and monthly Household Spending Intentions (HSI) survey. And the Reserve Bank releases minutes of the Board meeting held on July 7. On Wednesday, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) releases two of its relatively ‘new’ statistics. Preliminary June data is issued on retail trade. And provisional mortality figures are released for the four months to April. On Thursday, the Federal Government updates the latest figures on the Budget. The other major interest is in JobKeeper. Also on Thursday, the ABS issues detailed June labour market statistics. On Friday, preliminary international trade in goods figures are issued for June.

Company news

Australian-based Civmec (ASX:AJM) announced its subsidiary Civmec Construction & Engineering has lodged a writ and statement of claim in the Supreme Court of Western Australia against Altura Lithium Operations (ASX:AJM) for the recovery of payment for works undertaken in the delivery of process plant construction and installation works at Altura’s Pilgangoora Lithium Project in Western Australia. During the course of the Works, Civmec says they carried out substantial additional works beyond the original scope and also experienced delays. In the court proceedings, Civmec claims the settlement sum or in the alternative, the full amount of its outstanding claims which total approximately $4.5 million. Shares in Altura Mining (ASX:AJM) closed 1.64 per cent lower at 6 cents on Friday.

Currencies

One Australian Dollar at 7:00 AM was buying 69.88 US cents, 55.61 Pence Sterling, 74.93 Yen and 61.20 Euro cents.

Commodities

Iron Ore has lost 1.2 per cent to US$110.31.
Iron Ore futures suggest a 0.6 per cent gain
Gold has gained $9.70 to US$1810 an ounce.
Silver was up $0.19 cents to US$19.76 an ounce.
Oil has lost $0.16 to US$40.59 a barrel.