Joe Biden is sworn in as 46th President of the USA: ASX set to open higher

Following a lift on US markets overnight, the Australian share market looks set to open higher this morning. Donald Trump's presidency came to an end in the early hours of this morning when Joe Biden was sworn in as the 46th President of the United States. Kamala Harris has become the first woman, the first black person and the first person of South Asian descent elected to the vice-presidency. Janet Yellen in her Treasury Secretary selection testimony signaled that the China tariffs will remain untouched. Meanwhile, Australia and Brazil remains as China's top suppliers of iron ore in 2020 but imports from India rose 88 per cent. China's December coal imports from Australia were zero due to import restrictions.

Local economic news

The Australian Bureau of Statistics will release figures for labour force for December.

Markets

Wall Street closed higher yesterday: The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 0.8 per cent higher at 31188, the S&P 500 gained 1.4 per cent to 3852 and the NASDAQ closed almost 2 per cent higher at 13457.

European markets closed higher, London’s FTSE gained 0.4 per cent, Paris added 0.5 per cent and Frankfurt closed 0.7 per cent higher.

Asian markets closed mixed, Tokyo’s Nikkei lost 0.4 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng added 1.1 per cent and China’s Shanghai Composite closed 0.5 per cent higher.

Taking all of this into equation, the SPI futures are pointing to a 0.5 per cent rise.

Yesterday, the Australian share market closed 0.4 per cent higher at 6770.

Company news

Pilbara Minerals (ASX:PLS) has completed the acquisition of Meridian Energy following cash payment of $201 million. The acquisition secures the company’s position as the leading ASX listed pure-play lithium company. Shares in Pilbara Minerals (ASX:PLS) closed 7.8 per cent higher at $1.25.

Renewable electricity company, Mercury New Zealand (ASX:MCY) has grown their executive team with four newly created roles. Mercury’s shares fell when Rio Tinto announced new electricity agreements with Meridian Energy keeping the Tiwai Point aluminium smelter open until 2024.

Ex-Dividends

CVC Limited (ASX:CVC) is paying 3 cents fully franked

Kelly Partners Group Holdings (ASX:KPG) is paying 0.3 cents fully franked

Currencies

One Australian Dollar at 7:30 AM was buying 77.46 US cents, 56.77 Pence Sterling, 80.18 Yen and 63.99 Euro cents.

Commodities

Gold has gained $28.90 to US $1869 an ounce.
Silver was up $0.61 to US $25.93 an ounce.
Oil was down $0.16 to US $50.57 a barrel.
Iron Ore futures suggest 0.5 per cent fall.