AUD hits a three year high against the USD: ASX poised to open higher

Following positive leads from US markets, the Australian share market looks set to open higher this morning. In his second day of testimony to Congress, US Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell has pledged low rates until inflation exceeds 2 per cent boosting confidence in US investors. On the commodities front, US crude oil production dropped by more than 1 million barrels per day last week during Texas's deep freeze, equaling the largest weekly fall ever, while refining dropped to levels not seen since 2008 according to data from the Energy Information Administration. The Australian dollar hit a fresh three-year high touching almost 80 US cents.

Local economic news

ABS will release fourth quarter private capex.

Markets

Wall Street closed higher yesterday: The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 1.4 per cent higher at 31994, the S&P 500 added 1.14 per cent to 3925 and the NASDAQ closed almost 1 per cent higher at 13958.

European markets closed higher, London’s FTSE added 0.5 per cent, Paris gained 0.3 per cent and Frankfurt closed 0.8 per cent higher.

Asian markets closed lower, Tokyo’s Nikkei lost 1.6 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng shed 2.99 per cent and China’s Shanghai Composite shed 1.99 per cent.

Taking all of this into equation, the SPI futures are pointing to a 0.7 per cent rise.

Yesterday, the Australian share market closed 0.9 per cent lower at 6778.

Company news 

The a2 Milk Company (ASX:A2M) experienced a challenging first half with NPAT down 35.1 per cent to $120 million. Total revenue of $677.4 million was down 16 per cent and EBITDA of $178.5 million was down 32.2 per cent. Covid-19 disrupted the company’s daigou and reseller channel restricting travel between here and China. Shares in the A2 Milk Company (ASX:SWM) closed 0.9 per cent lower at $10.44

Reporting season

Afterpay; Flight Centre; Qantas; and, Stockland.

Ex-Dividends

Bapcor Limited (ASX:BAP) is paying 9 cents fully franked
Baby Bunting Group Ltd (ASX:BBN) is paying 5.8 cents fully franked
Beach Energy (ASX:BPT) is paying 1 cent fully franked
Breville Group (ASX:BRG) is paying 13 cents fully franked
JB Hi-Fi Limited (ASX:JBH) is paying $1.80 fully franked
Qualitas (ASX:QRI) is paying 0.806 cents unfranked

Currencies

One Australian Dollar at 8:00 AM was buying 79.62 US cents, 56.35 Pence Sterling, 84.30 Yen and 65.46 Euro cents.

Commodities

Gold has lost $5.70 to US $1800 an ounce.
Silver was up $0.23 to US $27.98 an ounce.
Oil was up $1.52 to US $58.95 a barrel.
The iron ore futures are suggesting a fall of 0.2 per cent.

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