China overtakes US as Europe's main trading partner: ASX set to open lower

Market Reports

by Rachael Jones

The Australian sharemarket is set to open lower this morning. The S&P 500 closed slightly lower as investors in the US grow concerned about surging bond yields. Very low temperatures in Texas are continuing to cause issues with the US energy by grounding operations at the Houston Ship channel and curbing output in the nation's largest oil field in the Permian. Bitcoin soared above $50k to an all-time high, as the world's biggest cryptocurrency is gaining acceptance among mainstream investors and companies. The latest figures released by Eurostat show that China has overtaken the US as Europe’s main trading partner for the first time. Back home, authorities say Victoria is on track to lift the five-day lockdown at midnight.
We have a big reporting day today with Coles, Nearmap, Rio Tinto, Tabcorp, Whitehaven Coal, Treasury Wine Estates and Westpac amongst others reporting. We’ll being you all the details on these as they come through.

Local economic news

Westpac leading index January



Markets

Wall Street closed mixed yesterday: The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.2 per cent to 31,523, the S&P 500 lost 0.1 per cent to 3933 and the NASDAQ closed 0.3 per cent lower at 14,048.

European markets closed mixed, London’s FTSE lost 0.1 per cent, Paris closed flat and Frankfurt closed 0.3 per cent lower.

Asian markets closed higher, Tokyo’s Nikkei added 1.3 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 1.9 per cent and China’s Shanghai Composite was closed.

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

Yesterday, the Australian share market closed 0.7 per cent higher at 6917.


Company News

Fletcher Building (ASX:FBU) reported first-half revenue up 1 per cent to $3.99 billion compared to a year ago, with net profit after tax up 48 per cent to $121 million. They expect FY21 adjusted EBIT in a range of $610 million to $660 million. The company declared an interim dividend of 12c a share to be paid on March 24. Shares in Fletcher Building (ASX:FBU) closed 0.33 per cent lower at $5.96 yesterday. Shares in Fletcher Building (ASX:FBU) closed 0.33 per cent lower at $5.96 yesterday.

Ex-Dividends

Flagship Investments (ASX:FSI) is paying 4.25 cents fully franked
Kelly Partners Group (ASX:KPG) is paying 0.33 cents fully franked

Currencies

One Australian Dollar at 8:15 AM was buying 77.57 US cents, 55.79 Pence Sterling, 82.18 Yen and 64.07 Euro cents.

Commodities

Gold has lost $28.70 to US$1795 an ounce.
Silver was down $0.04 to US$27.29 an ounce.
Oil was up $0.70 to US$60.17 a barrel.