US begins mass vaccinations against Coronavirus: ASX poised to open slightly higher


The Australian share market looks set to open higher this morning. US stocks fell for a fourth day as Covid-19 continues to rage across the country threatening harsher restrictions. The States has reported at least 16 million total coronavirus cases, the most in the world, according to Johns Hopkins University. Three million doses of Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine has been sent out for immediate distribution. And London has moved into top tier of restrictions as UK identifies new Covid variant. The Australian dollar had risen slightly to 75.3 US cents.

Local economic news

Today 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.

Markets

Wall Street closed mixed yesterday: The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 0.6 per cent to close at 29,862, the S&P 500 shed 0.4 per cent to 3647 and the NASDAQ closed 0.5 per cent higher at 12, 440.

European markets closed mixed: London’s FTSE lost 0.2 per cent, Paris gained 0.4 per cent and Frankfurt closed 0.8 per cent higher.

Asian markets closed mixed: Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 0.3 per cent and China’s Shanghai Composite lost 0.4 per cent while Tokyo’s Nikkei was 0.7 per cent higher.

Taking all of this into equation, the SPI futures are pointing to a 0.3 per cent fall.

Yesterday, the Australian share market closed 0.3 per cent higher at 6660.

Company news

BCI Minerals Limited (ASX:BCI) has been granted approval from the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility for a $450 million loan facility for the Mardie Salt & Potash Project. The project in the Pilbara region of Western Australia, involves construction of large ponds and crystallisers, two process plants and a new port facility for export of salt, sulphate of potash (‘SOP’) and other products. The loan will be used for construction and ramp-up of the Project and associated financing fees and costs with an overall tenor of 15 years. Shares in BCI Minerals (ASX:BCI) closed 7.14 per cent higher at $0.30 yesterday.

Currencies

One Australian Dollar at 8:15 AM was buying 75.34 US cents, 56.60 Pence Sterling, 78.36 Yen and 62.03 Euro cents.

Commodities

Iron Ore has lost 3.6 per cent to $154.37
Iron Ore futures suggest a 0.7 per cent fall.
Gold has lost $11.80 to US$1832 an ounce.
Silver has fallen $0.11 to US$23.98 an ounce.
Oil was up $0.43 to US$47.00 a barrel.