Australian shares are set to open flat after following a big week in which shares pushed higher by an iron ore surge but Wall Street see sawed. The S&P 500 fell on Friday, wrapping up a losing week, as the outlook for additional fiscal stimulus remains uncertain. Friday’s moves came as negotiations over a coronavirus relief deal dragged on.
In breaking news the U.S. government, FedEx and the United Parcel Service have begun the enormous task of delivering millions of vaccine doses across the country. Trucks containing the first packages of the vaccine are leaving Pfizer’s facility in Michigan today with delivery expected on Monday to sites across all 50 states.
Wall Street closed mixed on Friday: The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.2 per cent to close at 30,046, the S&P 500 lost 0.13 per cent to 3663 and the NASDAQ closed 0.2 per cent lower at 12,378.
European markets closed lower: London’s FTSE fell 0.8 per cent, Paris also lost 0.8 per cent and Frankfurt closed 1.4 per cent lower.
Asian markets closed mixed, Nikkei lost 0.4 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 0.4 per cent and China’s Shanghai Composite closed 0.8 per cent lower.
Taking all of this into equation, the SPI futures are pointing to a flat start, down 1 point.
On Friday, the Australian share market lost 41 points to close at 6643.
The focus now turns to the government's mid-year economic outlook set for later this week.Today the ABS issues overseas arrivals data for October and the “Household Impacts of COVID-19 Survey” for November. Tomorrow weekly indicators are issued, including Commonwealth Bank (CBA) data on card spending, the ANZ-Roy Morgan consumer sentiment index and ABS payroll jobs and wages indexes. The CBA issues its Household Spending Intentions report and the provisional travel statistics for November are due from the ABS. Also on Tuesday, Reserve Bank Head of Financial Stability Jonathan Kearns speaks at the Australasian Finance & Banking Conference. And minutes of the Reserve Bank December Board meeting are issued. On Wednesday, the ‘flash’ Markit purchasing manager indexes for December are scheduled. The ABS issues its “Business impacts of COVID-19” for December. And the skilled internet job vacancies data for November is also scheduled from the National Skills Commission.
Finally on Thursday, the labour force survey is issued with population growth and wealth data.
One Australian Dollar at 7:45 AM was buying 75.58 US cents, 56.62 Pence Sterling, 78.66 Yen and 62.27 Euro cents.
Iron Ore has added 2.3 per cent to US$160.13.
Iron Ore futures suggest a 0.1 per cent gain.
Gold has added $6.20 to US$1844 an ounce.
Silver was flat at US$24.09 an ounce.
Oil has lost $0.21 to US$46.57 a barrel