Vaccine rollouts start today across the country: ASX poised to open lower

Market Reports

by Rachael Jones

Australian shares are poised to open lower this morning, extending Friday’s retreat. Covid-19 vaccine rollouts begin across the country with the first shot of the Pfizer vaccine has been administered on Victorian soil. Police are amongst the first to be vaccinated in New South Wales. Iron ore futures in Asia fell on Friday after a survey of post-Lunar New Year inventories of steel products in China showed a significant increase. The Aussie dollar continues to rise.

Local economic news

The week kicks off on Monday with the weekly updates on petrol prices and the used vehicle market and the latest Household Covid-19 survey from the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Tomorrow, Commonwealth Bank (CBA) Group economists will release weekly credit and debit card spending data while ANZRoy Morgan release the weekly consumer sentiment survey. The ABS releases the preliminary January data on exports and imports of goods. On Wednesday, the ABS issues the wage price index for the December quarter. Also on Wednesday, the ABS issues the preliminary December quarter estimates on construction work done. On Thursday, the ABS releases three publications. The latest estimates of business investment with the “Average Weekly Earnings” and the detailed labour force estimates for January. On Friday, the Reserve Bank releases the “Private Sector Credit” publication (measuring outstanding loans). The ABS is again kept busy with the “Jobs in Australia” publication and a re-titled “Business Conditions & Sentiment” report.

Markets

To the figures from around the globe: Wall Street closed mixed on Friday: The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed flat at 31,494, the S&P 500 fell 0.2 per cent to 3907and the NASDAQ closed 0.1 per cent higher at 13,874.

European markets closed higher: London’s FTSE gained 0.1 per cent, Paris added 0.8 per cent and Frankfurt closed 0.8 per cent higher.

Asian markets closed mixed, Nikkei lost 0.7 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng added 0.2 per cent and China’s Shanghai Composite gained 0.6 per cent.

Taking all of this into equation, the SPI futures are pointing 0.2 per cent fall.

On Friday, the Australian share market lost 92 points to close at 6794.

Company News

BlueScope (ASX:BSL) today reported a 1H FY2021 net profit after tax (NPAT) of $330.3 million, up 78 per cent on 1H FY2020, and an underlying NPAT of $332.8 million. Australian Steel Products’ domestic despatches were the highest in a decade, driven by a resurgent residential construction sector. Their near-term focus is the completion of the North Star expansion. The Board has approved the payment of a 6 cents per share interim dividend – in line with last year. Shares in BlueScope Steel (ASX:BSL) closed 4.95 per cent lower at $17.28 on Friday

Other companies reporting today include Amaysim, Costa Group, LendLease, McGrath, Nufarm and Platinum Asset Management.

Ex-Dividends

Ansell Limited (ASX:ANN) is paying 42.6626 cents unfranked
Netwealth Group (ASX:NWL) is paying 9.06 cents fully franked
Tabcorp Holdings Ltd (ASX:TAH) is paying 7.5 cents fully franked

Currencies

One Australian Dollar at 8:00 AM was buying 78.77 US cents, 56.19 Pence Sterling, 83.05 Yen and 65.01 Euro cents.

Commodities

Iron Ore has lost 0.9 per cent to US$173.55.
Iron Ore futures suggest 0.2 per cent fall.
Gold has gained $2.40 to US$1777 an ounce.
Silver has added $0.18 US$27.29 an ounce.
Oil has lost $1.28 to US$59.24 a barrel.

Our first investor event for 2021 is Feb 23, 5 companies starting 12:30pm details including registration at the link https://www.finnewsnetwork.com.au/page/investor-events