Stocks set to follow Wall Street lower

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Australian shares are set to open on a down note after the Aussie dollar fell and Wall Street was down on concerns the Fed may begin trimming stimulus measures later this year.

On the ASX24, the SPI futures contract is 14 points lower to 4884. The Aussie dollar was buying 96.57 US cents, down from 96.8 late yesterday, and down sharply from 97.9 in offshore trade early on Tuesday. It was also buying 96.54 yen, 73.73 euro cents and 63 pence.

Economic growth in the first three months of the year is expected to have been boosted by resources exports and strong consumer spending. The figures, due for release at 11.30am, are expected to show the economy grew at 0.7 per cent in the March quarter for an annual rate of 2.7 per cent, a Bloomberg survey of 25 economists found. This would be considered a strong result given the impact of the high Australian dollar and fall in investment in the mining sector during the first few months of the year.

What you need to knowSPI futures are 14 points lower at 4884The $A is lower at 96.57 US centsIn New York, the S&P500 was 0.55% lower at 1631.38 In Europe, the FTSE100 rose 0.51% to 6558.58China iron ore added $US4.70 to $US116.60 a metric tonne Gold fell 1% to $US1397.34 an ounceWTI crude oil lost 14 cents to $US93.31 a barrelReuters/Jefferies CRB index lost 0.34% to 285.94

Making news today

In economics news:ABS national accounts, including gross domestic product for March quarterAiG-CBA Performance of Services Index (PSI) for May

There is no major company news scheduled for today

Analyst rating changes:Oceanagold cut to hold at InvestecBillabong cut to sell at Deutsche BankSeven West Media raised to strong buy at BBYCochlear raised to neutral at Macquarie

How we fared yesterday

Australian shares finished 0.3 per cent higher on Tuesday, ending a three-session run of losses as Wall Street gains overnight bolstered sentiment and firmer metals prices underpinned miners.

The S&P/ASX 200 index tacked on 12.5 points, after a volatile morning session, to finish at 4,900.8. The benchmark fell 0.8 per cent to its lowest close in four months on Monday.

BusinessDay with agencies

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