US indices notch new record highs: Aus shares to open higher

Market Reports

by Katrina Bullock

The Australian futures market is indicating a rise at the open, following fresh all-time highs for the S&P 500, the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Nasdaq during trade. The highs came on the back of hopes that the Democrats and Republicans are moving closer to agreeing a pandemic stimulus package. Investors will be watching developments on this closely. It’s the first test of whether president elect Joe Biden has the ability to ‘reach across the aisle’ and sway the Republicans. US stocks retreated from the record highs at the end of the session after a Dow Jones report raised concern that the Covid vaccine roll out may be slower than expected. Meanwhile, the US dollar continued to slide, now down to its lowest level in more than two years. The price of oil made back some ground after OPEC+ agreed to ease its oil output cuts next year more gradually than originally planned to give the troubled market more time to absorb the extra supply.

Local economic news

We are expecting the Australian Bureau of Statistics to release retail trade data for the month of October.

International Markets

Wall Street closed mixed yesterday: The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.3 per cent to 29970, the S&P 500 shed almost 0.1 per cent to 3667 and the NASDAQ closed 0.2 per cent higher at 12377.

European markets closed mixed, London’s FTSE gained 0.4 per cent, Paris shed 0.2 per cent and Frankfurt closed 0.5 per cent lower.

Asian markets closed mixed, Tokyo’s Nikkei gained 0.03 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng added 0.7 per cent and China’s Shanghai Composite closed 0.2 per cent lower.

Taking all of this into equation, the SPI futures are pointing to a 0.2 per cent gain.

Yesterday, the Australian share market closed 0.4 per cent higher at 6615.

Company news

The Star Entertainment Group (ASX:SGR) welcomes an easing in operating restrictions at all three properties. The changes permit the Star Sydney to increase patronage from the current maximum of 1,800 patrons within the casino area to up to 10,000 patrons. It is still required to comply with the rules regarding spatial distancing between gaming positions. An easing of restrictions in Queensland will also allow the troubled gamer to have 1 person per 2 metres squared, rather than 1 person per 4 metres squared and will enable the casino to utilise every gaming machine again. The company expects that the re-opening of the Queensland border to residents of Greater Sydney and Victoria from 1 December 2020 will also enhance visitation to the Star Gold Coast property. Shares in the Star Entertainment Group (ASX:SGR) closed 1.6 per cent higher at $3.87 yesterday.

Currencies

One Australian Dollar at 7:45 AM was buying 74.41 US cents, 55.34 Pence Sterling, 77.32 Yen and 61.29 Euro cents.

Commodities

Gold has gained $14.60 to US$1840 an ounce.
Silver was up $0.05 to US$24.07 an ounce.
Oil was down $0.13 to US$44.86 a barrel.
Iron Ore futures suggest a 0.9 per cent rise.