Melbourne lockdown restrictions ease: Aus shares to open higher


Australian shares are set to open higher after Victoria’s Premier, Daniel Andrews, announced the easing of restrictions last night. Melbourne’s 5 million residents who have been under lockdown for more than 100 days will now be allowed to travel up to 25 kilometres from their homes and will no longer be subject to the 2 hour time limit on outdoor exercise. From midnight last night, tennis courts, golf courses and skate parks will reopen, hairdressers can resume business and up to 10 people can attend outdoor auctions for residential properties. The retail and hospitality sectors are scheduled to reopen on November 1.

In news across the pond, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has been re-elected to a second term in a landslide victory in Saturday’s election. Ardern's Labor Party won 49 per cent of the vote, 20 per cent more than the opposition party – that is the biggest share of the vote any New Zealand party has achieved in more than 70 years.

Investors keenly await the release of China's third-quarter GDP report this morning which will indicate whether the momentum of China’s recovery from the pandemic has been maintained.

Local economic news this week

Tomorrow, we are expecting the Commonwealth Bank of Australia to release September data on household spending intentions, ANZ and Roy Morgan will release consumer confidence data and the Australian Bureau of Statistics will release weekly payroll information. The Reserve Bank of Australia will also release its board meeting minutes and Reserve Bank Assistant Governor Chris Kent will make a speech. On Wednesday the Australian Bureau of Statistics will publish preliminary retail trade figures for the month of September. Then on Thursday we will see a speech from Reserve Bank Deputy Governor Guy Debelle, the Australian Bureau of Statistics will release an October update on the business impacts of Covid-19 and labour force data for September. On Friday IHS Markit will publish the October Purchasing Managers’ Index for manufacturing and services.

Markets

Wall Street closed mixed on Friday: The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.4 per cent to close at 28,606, the S&P 500 closed flat at 3484 and the NASDAQ closed 0.4 per cent lower at 11,672.

European markets closed higher: London’s FTSE added 1.5 per cent, Paris gained over 2 per cent and Frankfurt closed 1.6 per cent higher.

Asian markets closed mixed, Nikkei lost 0.4 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 0.9 per cent and China’s Shanghai Composite closed 0.1 per cent higher.

Taking all of this into equation, the SPI futures are pointing to a 0.6 per cent gain.

On Friday, the Australian share market lost 34 points to close at 6177.

Company news

Integrated Research (ASX:IRI) released its annual report for financial year ended 30 June 2020. Net profit after tax rose 10 per cent year on year to $24.1 million. This marks the 7th consecutive year of annual profit growth for the company which provides insights, monitoring and support to keep payment hubs, unified communications ecosystems and contact centres running. Total revenue was also up 10 per cent to $110.9 million. Revenue in the Asia Pacific region saw the biggest boost rising 17 per cent over the period. Shares in Integrated Research (ASX:IRI) closed 2.13 per cent higher at $3.83 on Friday.

Ex-dividend

Cadence Capital (ASX:CDM) is paying 2 cents fully franked.
Future Gen Ltd (ASX:FGX) is paying 2.6 cents fully franked.
K & S Corporation (ASX:KSC) is paying 3 cents fully franked.
WAM Active Limited (ASX:WAA) is paying 3 cents fully franked.
WAM Global Limited (ASX:WGB) is paying 4 cents fully franked.
WAM Leaders Limited (ASX:WLE) is paying 3.25 cents fully franked.

Currencies

One Australian Dollar at 7:10 AM was buying 70.82 US cents, 54.76 Pence Sterling, 74.59 Yen and 60.26 Euro cents.

Commodities

Iron Ore has added 0.3 per cent to US$119.08.
Iron Ore futures suggest a 2.2 per cent gain.
Gold has lost $2.50 to US$1906 an ounce.
Silver was up $0.18 cents to US$24.41 an ounce.
Oil has lost $0.08 to US$40.88 a barrel.