Italy blocks vaccine shipment to Australia: Aus shares poised to open lower

Market Reports

by Katrina Bullock

Aussie futures are indicating that the market will start the day in negative territory. This follows a volatile trading session on Wall Street. US markets ended the day lower after US Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell indicated that inflation is likely to rise as the economy recovers. While he forecast that such rises were likely to be temporary, the comments were enough to spook investors and spark a selloff in the equity markets. Meanwhile, the Morrison Government is the latest victim of Europe’s vaccine nationalism. Italy has reportedly blocked a shipment of 250,000 doses of AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine which was bound for Australian shores. Italy’s Prime Minister Mario Draghi vetoed the shipment under a European Union export control mechanism brought in on the 30th of January to preference Europe in the supply of Covid-19 vaccines.

Markets

Wall Street closed lower yesterday: The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 1.1 per cent to close at 30,924, the S&P 500 shed 1.3 per cent to 3768 and the NASDAQ closed 2.1 per cent lower at 12,723.

European markets closed mixed: London’s FTSE lost 0.4 per cent, Paris closed flat and Frankfurt closed 0.2 per cent lower.

Asian markets closed lower: Tokyo’s Nikkei fell 2.1 per cent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng lost 2.2 per cent and China’s Shanghai Composite closed 2.1 per cent lower.

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

Yesterday, the Australian share market closed 0.8 per cent lower at 6761.

Company news

Childcare and education provider Evolve Education Group (ASX:EVO) has penned a deal to purchase 10 childcare centres in Australia. The centres have a total licenced capacity of 816 children per day. This will take the company’s total number of centres to 116 in New Zealand and 20 in Australia. The deal will see the company pay $27.13 million upfront, plus an additional amount if the centres record EBITDA exceeding $6.93 million per annum for the 12 months post settlement. The acquisitions will be funded from existing cash resources. Shares in Evolve Education Group (ASX:EVO) closed 2.61 per cent higher at $1.18 yesterday.

Ex-dividends

Ampol Limited (ASX:ALD) is paying 23 cents fully franked
Argo Global Ltd (ASX:ALI) is paying 3.5 cents fully franked
Excelsior Capital (ASX:ECL) is paying 2 cents fully franked
Lifestyle Communities (ASX:LIC) is paying 3 cents fully franked
MACA Limited (ASX:MLD) is paying 2.5 cents fully franked
Sims Limited (ASX:SGM) is paying 12 cents fully franked
Veem Ltd (ASX:VEE) is paying 0.43 cents unfranked

Currencies

One Australian Dollar at 8:20 AM was buying 77.24 US cents, 55.59 Pence Sterling, 83.38 Yen and 64.53 Euro cents.

Commodities

Iron Ore has added 0.9 per cent to US$177.98.
Iron Ore futures suggest a 2.7 per cent fall.
Gold has lost $19.50 to US$1696 an ounce.
Silver has fallen $0.96 to US$25.43 an ounce.
Oil has gained $2.97 to US$64.25 a barrel.