WA enters first full day of Covid lockdown: ASX to open lower

Market Reports

by Rachael Jones

The Australian share market is set to open lower this morning as Wall Street dropped. The US markets may have entered a correction phase, as hedge funds sell to cover short sale losses. US senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren are calling for Wall Street reform after the frenzy over GameStop shares last week. The US bricks-and-mortar video retailer was up 1700 per cent since the start of the year. Amateur investors organised over Reddit to target shares that had been "short-sold" by hedge funds in a bet that the price of the shares would fall. The Reddit group caused massive spikes in share prices. A new coronavirus lockdown has been announced for Perth for five days after a quarantine hotel worker has tested positive.

Economic news outlook

Today, the CoreLogic Home Value Index is issued. The ABS will release figures for lending indicators. On Tuesday, Commonwealth Bank (CBA) Group economists will release weekly credit and debit card spending data. Other weekly data releases include the ANZ-Roy Morgan consumer sentiment gauge and the Bureau of Statistics (ABS) weekly payroll jobs and wages data. Also on Tuesday, the Reserve Bank (RBA) Board meets for the first time in 2021 with no change in policy settings expected. On Wednesday, RBA Governor Philip Lowe delivers a speech entitled “The Year Ahead” at the National Press Club in Canberra at 12.30pm AEDT. Also on Wednesday, the ABS quarterly ‘Living Cost Indexes’. In December, new vehicle sales were up 13.5 per cent from a year ago. On Thursday, the ABS releases international trade data for December with a 36th successive monthly trade surplus expected. An array of Aussie commodity exports have been hit by China trade duties and tariffs in 2020. On Friday, the final retail trade report is issued for December. Also on Friday, the RBA releases its Statement on Monetary Policy.



Markets

Wall Street closed lower on Friday: The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost over 2 per cent to close at 29,983, the S&P 500 fell 1.9 per cent to close at 3714 and the NASDAQ closed 2 per cent lower at 13,071.

European markets closed lower on Friday: London’s FTSE lost 1.8 per cent, Paris fell over 2 per cent and Frankfurt closed 1.7 per cent lower.

Asian markets closed lower on Friday: Tokyo’s Nikkei lost 1.9 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng shed 0.9 per cent and China’s Shanghai Composite closed 0.6 per cent lower.

Back home, the SPI futures are pointing to 0.5 per cent fall. On Friday, the Australian share market closed 0.6 per cent lower at 6607.

Company news

Talga (ASX:TLG) closed out the 2020 December quarter with $32.4 million cash-in-bank and was capitalised at $457 million based on closing price on 31 December 2020. The Company has 303.2 million quoted ordinary shares,10.8 million unlisted options and 2.1 million performance rights on issue. In November 2020 the Company name was officially changed to Talga Group Ltd, to better reflect the Company’s position as an emerging producer of a diverse range of sustainable graphite-based products and technologies. Shares in Talga Group (ASX:TLG) closed 4.14 per cent lower at $1.39 on Friday.

Ex-Dividends

BlackWall Property Trust (ASX:BWR) is paying 3.5 cents unfranked
NB Global Corporate Income Trust (ASX:NBI) is paying 0.6963 cents unfranked
Ozgrowth Limited (ASX:OZG) is paying 0.3 cents fully franked
Westoz Investment Company Limited (ASX:WIC) is paying 3 cents fully franked

Currencies

One Australian Dollar at 8:00 AM was buying 76.28 US cents, 55.65 Pence Sterling, 79.95 Yen and 62.89 Euro cents.

Commodities

Iron Ore has gained 0.7 per cent to US$158.54.
Iron Ore futures suggest a 1.2 per cent gain.
Gold was up $9.10 to US$1850 an ounce.
Silver has gained $0.99 to US$26.91 an ounce.
Oil was down $0.14 to US$52.20 a barrel.