JobKeeper comes to an end: ASX poised to open higher


Following a boost from US markets, the Australian share market looks set to open higher this morning. On Friday, Europe closed near all-time highs and Wall Street rallied. US consumer spending fell 1 per cent in February, the most in 10 months, and income retraced 7.1 per cent however rises are expected ahead given significant fiscal stimulus. Back home, the $90 billion JobKeeper wage subsidy scheme has now ended, with a million workers still relying on it.

Local economic news due out this week

It’s a short week for the Australian economic calendar this week, it kicks off tomorrow with the weekly ANZ-Roy Morgan consumer sentiment index and fortnightly update on payroll jobs and wages figures from the Bureau of Statistics (ABS). On Wednesday, building approvals data is issued for February. Also on Wednesday, the Reserve Bank issues private sector credit (effectively, outstanding loans) data for February with attention focused on owner-occupier housing credit growth, with the annual rate hitting 2-year highs in January. The ABS also provides an update on infrastructure spending with the December quarter release of engineering construction data. On Thursday, the AiGroup and IHS Markit both release manufacturing indexes for March. And the number of measured ABS job vacancies are tipped to reach all-time highs in February. Home lending figures are also scheduled for February. Also on Thursday, the final retail and international trade estimates for February are due.

Markets

Wall Street closed higher on Friday: The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 1.4 per cent to close at 33,073, the S&P 500 added 1.7 per cent to close at 3975 and the NASDAQ closed 1.2 per cent higher at 13,139.

European markets closed higher on Friday: London’s FTSE added almost 1 per cent, Paris gained 0.6 per cent and Frankfurt closed 0.9 per cent higher.

Asian markets closed higher on Friday: Tokyo’s Nikkei gained 1.6 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng also added 1.6 per cent and China’s Shanghai Composite closed 1.6 per cent higher.

Back home, the SPI futures are pointing to a 0.7 per cent gain.
On Friday, the Australian share market closed 0.5 per cent higher at 6824.

Company news

AMP (ASX:AMP) has agreed to end the management agreement with listed NZ REIT, Precinct Properties New Zealand Limited, allowing them to internalise management for a one-off payment of NZ$215 million (A$197 million ) for 100 per cent of the management interests. AMP Capital, via its 50 per cent interest in the management company AMP Haumi Management has managed Precinct since its listing in 1997 and through its corporatisation in 2010. Over the last ten years, the business has been transformed to become one of New Zealand’s leading listed property businesses. However, AMP Capital believes it has become an increasingly standalone business. Shares in AMP (ASX:AMP) closed 0.75 per cent higher at $1.35 on Friday.

Ex-Dividends

Cedar Woods Properties (ASX:CWP) is paying 13 cents fully franked
Lycopodium Limited (ASX:LYL) is paying 10 cents fully franked
NAOS Emerging Opportunities Company (ASX:NCC) is paying 3.75 cents fully franked
Reece Limited (ASX:REH) is paying 6 cents fully franked

Currencies

One Australian Dollar at 8:20 AM was buying 76.44 US cents, 55.42 Pence Sterling, 83.86 Yen and 64.82 Euro cents.

Commodities

Iron Ore has gained 0.9 per cent to US$161.30.
Iron Ore futures suggest a 3.2 per cent gain.
Gold was up $7.40 to US$1735 an ounce.
Silver has added $0.07 to US$25.11 an ounce.
Oil was up $2.41 to US$60.97 a barrel.