Asia forms world's largest trade bloc: ASX looks set to open higher


The Australian share market looks set to open higher this morning as effective vaccine news could be the turning point for value stocks. Seventeen coronavirus cases have now been linked to a cluster in Adelaide's northern suburbs, South Australia's Chief Public Health Officer says. Fifteen Asia-Pacific economies formed the world’s largest free trade bloc yesterday, in a China-backed deal that excludes the United States. The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) was signed at a regional summit in Hanoi.

Economic News

The week kicks off with speech from Reserve Bank Governor Lowe speech at CEDA Annual Dinner. On Tuesday CBA Household Spending Intentions (September) Monthly survey using Google Trends data also on Tuesday the ABS will release figures on Weekly Payroll Jobs and Wages and an update on the labour market. On Wednesday the ABS will release Wage Price Index (September quarter) Wages are tipped to lift 0.3 per cent and on Thursday Labour force figures for October. 50,000 jobs may have been lost. And on Friday Preliminary retail trade (October) Retail spending could fall 0.5% in new figures from the ABS.

Markets

Wall Street closed higher on Friday: The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 1.4 per cent to close at 29,480, the S&P 500 added 1.4 per cent to close at 3585 and the NASDAQ closed over 1 per cent higher at 11,829.

European markets closed mixed on Friday: London’s FTSE lost 0.4 per cent, Paris added 0.3 per cent and Frankfurt closed 0.2 per cent higher.

Asian markets closed lower on Friday: Tokyo’s Nikkei lost 0.5 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 0.1 per cent and China’s Shanghai Composite closed 0.9 per cent lower.

Back home, the SPI futures are pointing to 0.8 per cent gain. On Friday, the Australian share market closed 0.2 per cent lower at 6405.

Company news

Auckland Airport (ASX:AIZ) saw total passenger volumes decreased by 76.9 per cent in September 2020 versus last year. International passengers (excl. Transits) were down 96.9 per cent, transit passengers were down 94.5 per cent and domestic passengers were down by 53.3 per cent. Domestic passenger numbers in September 2020 were 63.4 per cent up on August 2020 reflecting the change in the country’s alert levels at the end of August. Air New Zealand resumed flying all its Auckland domestic routes when alert levels were reduced on 31 August 2020. Jetstar Airways resumed its domestic services from 17 September 2020 when physical distancing requirements on domestic air travel were lifted. Shares in Auckland International Airport (ASX:AIA) closed 1.54 per cent higher at $7.26 on Friday.

Ex-Dividends

AusNet Services Ltd (ASX:AST) is paying 4.75 cents 40 per cent franked
Macquarie Group Ltd (ASX:MQG) is paying 135 40 per cent franked
Opticomm Ltd (ASX:OPC) is paying 10 cents fully franked
Qv Equities Limited (ASX:QVE) is paying 1.1 cents fully franked
Zimplats Holding Ltd (ASX:ZIM) is paying 56.0575 cents unfranked

Currencies

One Australian Dollar at 8:00 AM was buying 72.69 US cents, 55.23 Pence Sterling, 76.07 Yen and 61.38 Euro cents.

Commodities

Iron Ore has lost 1.1 per cent to US$122.37.
Iron Ore futures suggest a 0.4 per cent fall.
Gold was up $12.90 to US$1886 an ounce.
Silver has added $0.47 to US$24.77 an ounce.
Oil was down $0.99 to US$40.13 a barrel.