Powell speech boosts US markets: ASX poised to open lower


The Australian share market is set to open lower this morning despite US stocks edging higher. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell says rates will stay low in the US and is expecting second half growth. Even though there are more people in work in the US than at the start of the Covid pandemic, he said they still has a long way to go in terms of employment. Steel demand in the EU and UK is expected rebound by 13.3 per cent in 2021 according to the European Steel Association. Back home, a number of large companies are reporting today Telstra, AGL Energy and Transurban. 

Markets

Wall Street closed mixed yesterday: The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.2 per cent to 31,438, the S&P 500 lost 0.03 per cent to 3910 and the NASDAQ closed 0.3 per cent lower at 13,973.



European markets closed lower, London’s FTSE lost 0.1 per cent, Paris fell 0.4 per cent and Frankfurt closed 0.6 per cent lower.

Asian markets closed higher, Tokyo’s Nikkei added 0.2 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 1.9 per cent and China’s Shanghai Composite closed 1.4 per cent higher.

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

Yesterday, the Australian share market closed 0.5 per cent higher at 6857.

Company news

AMP (ASX:AMP) will not pay shareholders a final dividend after underlying profit fell during the 2020 financial year. Underlying net profit after tax fell from $439 million to $295 million however statutory profit rose to $177 million, reversing a $2.5 billion loss. Also, last night Ares told the company that it does not intend to proceed with its non-binding indicative proposal for 100 per cent of AMP of $1.85 per share. Shares in AMP (ASX:AMP) closed 0.98 per cent higher at $1.54 yesterday.

Ex-Dividends

FSA Group Limited (ASX:FSA) is paying 3 cents fully franked
Mayfield Childcare Ltd (ASX:MFD) is paying 2 cents fully franked
Plato Income Maximiser Ltd (ASX:PL8) is paying 0.4 cents fully franked
VGI Partners Global Investments Ltd (ASX:VG1) is paying 1.5 cents fully franked.

Currencies

One Australian Dollar at 8:15 AM was buying 77.21 US cents, 55.83 Pence Sterling, 80.79 Yen and 63.71 Euro cents.

Commodities

Iron Ore has gained 1.7 per cent to US$166.90.
Iron Ore futures suggest 2.4 per cent gain.
Gold has gained $6.00 to US$1844 an ounce.
Silver was down $0.32 to US$27.09 an ounce.
Oil was up $0.09 to US$58.45 a barrel.