More EU countries suspend use of AstraZeneca vaccine: ASX to open higher


Following positive leads from US markets due to a tech push, the Australian share market looks set to open higher. Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Ireland and the Netherlands have joined the growing list of countries that have suspended the use of the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine over blood clot concerns. Back home, last week the national average price of unleaded petrol fell by 1.1 cents a litre to 140.2 cents per litre (c/l) according to the Australian Institute of Petroleum. Retail unleaded pump prices are easing on Australia’s East Coast due to discounting cycles, but prices could be hiked in Brisbane later this week.

Local economic news

Commonwealth Bank Group economists release the Household Spending Intentions survey using Google Trends data for February. Other weekly data releases include, the ANZ-Roy Morgan consumer sentiment index and the ABS payroll jobs and wages data for the second half of February. The RBA’s March 2 Board meeting minutes are also issued today.

Markets

Wall Street closed higher yesterday: The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.5 per cent to 32,953, the S&P 500 added 0.7 per cent to 3969 and the NASDAQ closed 1.1 per cent higher at 13460.

European markets closed lower, London’s FTSE lost 0.2 per cent, Paris also fell 0.2 per cent and Frankfurt closed 0.3 per cent lower.

Asian markets closed mixed, Tokyo’s Nikkei added 0.2 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 0.3 per cent and China’s Shanghai Composite closed almost 1 per cent lower.

Taking all of this into equation, the SPI futures are pointing to a 0.4 per cent gain.

Yesterday, the Australian share market closed 0.1 per cent higher at 6773.

Company news

A subsidiary of Centuria Capital Group (ASX:CNI), Centuria Healthcare, has entered into a partnership with a specialist doctor-led Joint Venture (JV) entity that will deliver a new, $64million short-stay private hospital in Kew, Melbourne. Forty-two (42) specialist doctors have formed a JV with Medibank to provide no-gap treatments to eligible patients in its new short-stay hospital, which will be developed by Centuria Healthcare. Shares in Centuria Capital Group (ASX:CNI) closed 0.85 per cent higher at $2.37 yesterday

Ex-Dividends

Absolute Equity Performance Fund (ASX:AEG) is paying 2.6 cents fully franked
Deterra Royalties (ASX:DRR) is paying 2.45 cents fully franked
Data#3 Limited (ASX:DTL) is paying 5.5 cents fully franked
Generation Development Group (ASX:GDG) is paying 1 cent unfranked
Macmahon Holdings (ASX:MAH) is paying 0.3 cents 20 per cent franked
News Corp (ASX:NWS) is paying 9.1815 cents unfranked
Plato Income Maximiser (ASX:PL8) is paying 0.4 cents fully franked
Perenti Global Ltd (ASX:PRN) is paying 3.5 cents unfranked
Shriro Holdings Ltd (ASX:SHM) is paying 4 cents fully franked
Saunders International Ltd (ASX:SND) is paying 0.75 cents fully franked
Thorney Opportunities Ltd (ASX:TOP) is paying 0.8 cents fully franked
TPG Telecom Limited (ASX:TPG) is paying 7.5 cents fully franked
Tamawood Limited (ASX:TWD) is paying 11 cents fully franked
Vortiv Ltd (ASX:VOR) is paying 5.55 cents fully franked

Currencies

One Australian Dollar at 8:10 AM was buying 77.54 US cents, 55.81 Pence Sterling, 84.65 Yen and 65.03 Euro cents.

Commodities

Iron Ore has gained 1.3 per cent to US$163.33
Iron Ore futures suggest 2.9 per cent gain.
Gold has gained $9.70 to US$1729.50 an ounce.
Silver was up $0.41 to US$26.33 an ounce.
Oil was down $0.21 to US$65.40 a barrel.

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