Wall Street closed for Presidents' Day: ASX poised to open higher

Market Reports

by Rachael Jones

The Australian sharemarket is set to open higher this morning, as coronavirus vaccine optimism continues to push commodities higher. Copper prices jumped to their highest since 2012 yesterday as investors continued their buying spree on concerns over rising inflation and stronger than expected demand in China. Oil prices also soared yesterday, reaching their highest in about 13 months. Meanwhile, the World Health Organization says there has been a dramatic fall in the number of coronavirus cases globally, with newly recorded infections the lowest in months. The news comes as Victoria enters its fourth day of lockdown.

Local economic news

Weekly consumer sentiment and Weekly payroll jobs & wages.

Markets

Wall Street was closed yesterday due to Presidents' Day.

European markets closed higher, London’s FTSE added 2.5 per cent, Paris gained 1.5 per cent and Frankfurt closed 0.4 per cent higher.

In Asian markets, Tokyo’s Nikkei added 1.9 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng and China’s Shanghai Composite were closed.

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

Yesterday, the Australian share market closed 0.9 per cent higher at 6869.

Company News

Safety protection solutions company Ansell (ASX:ANN) reported today showing their profit is up 61.9 per cent year on year to US$106.5 million. Revenue rose 24.5 per cent to US$937.8 million. They saw strong volume growth from Chemical Protective Clothing and Multi-Purpose/Electrical/Cut gloves more than offsetting weaker demand from Impact gloves. The need for personal protective equipment due to Covid has helped their results. The company increased half year dividend to US33.2¢, 52.6 per cent growth compared to a year ago. Shares in Ansell (ASX:ANN) closed 0.97 per cent higher at $38.57 yesterday.

Ex-Dividends

Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA) is paying 150 cents fully franked
Computershare Ltd (ASX:CPU) is paying 23 cents fully franked
Insurance Australia Group(ASX:IAG) is paying 7 cents unfranked
Janus Henderson Group (ASX:JHG) is paying 47.2193 cents unfraned
Magellan Financial Group (ASX:MFG) is paying 97.1 cents 75 per cent franked
Mineral Resources (ASX:MIN) is paying 100 cents fully franked.

Currencies

One Australian Dollar at 8:05 AM was buying 77.82 US cents, 55.97 Pence Sterling, 81.97 Yen and 64.14 Euro cents.

Commodities

Gold has lost $4.30 to US$1819 an ounce.
Silver was up $0.35 to US$27.68 an ounce.
Oil was up $0.65 to US$60.12 a barrel.
 

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