The Australian share market looks set to open slightly lower after the Dow and the S&P lose early gains to close little changed, but the Aussie dollar slides aginst its US counterpart.
At 0700 AEDT on Monday, the share price futures index was down seven points, or 12 per cent, at 5,850.
In economic news on Monday, CoreLogic releases its capital city house prices for the week just ended.
In equities news, SEEK, oOh!media, NIB Holdings, Brambles and Domain are expected to release earnings reports.
The Australian market on Friday fell back in afternoon trade to close virtually flat despite the impetus of some strong company profit figures.
The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index ended down five points, or 0.08 per cent, at 5,904.0 while the broader All Ordinaries index fell 3.9 points, or 0.06 per cent, to 6,004.8 points.
The S&P 500 has closed out its fastest-climbing week since 2013, although it surrendered most of its earlier gain for the day after a US grand jury indicted several Russians for meddling in the 2016 presidential election.
US Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s office said a federal grand jury indicted 13 Russian nationals and three Russian entities accused of interfering in an effort to support then-candidate Donald Trump.
The S&P 500 had been up more than half a per cent on Friday, but lost nearly all of that after the announcement of the indictments.
Investors on Friday snapped up shares of Johnson & Johnson , Abbvie and Pfizer, all up more than 1.4 per cent and supporting the S&P 500 more than any other stocks.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.08 per cent to end at 25,219.38 points, while the S&P 500 gained 0.04 per cent to 2732.22, but the Nasdaq Composite dropped 0.23 per cent to 7239.47.
For the week, the Dow rose 4.25 per cent its strongest weekly gain since November 2016.
The S&P 500’s 4.3 per cent gain for the week was its biggest weekly advance since January 2013. It remains down nearly 5 per cent from its record high on January 26.
The Nasdaq rose 5.31 per cent for the week, its best week since December 2011.
Prices of aluminum and shares of companies that produce the metal and steel rose Friday following the news that the Trump administration is weighing broad-based tariffs and quotas to curb imports.
Aluminum prices rose in London, climbing 2% to $2,208 a metric ton, following a report before the U.S. Commerce Department’s official statement. Shares of aluminum producer Alcoa Corp. initially rose on the news before closing down 21 cents, or 0.4%, at $47.36, while U.S. Steel shares climbed 5.76, or 15%, to 44.75.
IRON ORE: $77.20 +0.21(March contract)
Oil prices closed at a one-week high on Friday, recouping losses as optimism over the crude market rebalancing outweighed concerns about shale production.
Light, sweet crude for March delivery rose 34 cents, or 0.6%, to $61.68 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, marking the third straight session of gains. Brent, the global benchmark, advanced 51 cents, or 0.8%, to $64.84 a barrel.
The dollar rebounded Friday, as investors locked in gains on bets against the U.S. currency after a recent decline.
The Wall Street Journal Dollar Index, which gauges the U.S. currency against a basket of 16 others, was up 0.4%, at 83.05, a day after hitting its lowest level in more than three years.
Expectations of accelerating growth outside the U.S. and worries over fiscal policy in Washington have pushed the dollar down more than 3.5% in 2018. The currency is also down nearly 9% in the past year.
Despite its recent losses, some analysts believe the dollar is likely to decline in coming months. Part of the dollar’s weakness may stem from concerns that recent tax cuts will negatively impact U.S. finances, analysts at ING said in a note to clients.
The Australian dollar has fallen more than half a US cent against its US counterpart which continues to experience weakness despite bouncing off a three-year low.
At 0635 AEDT on Monday, the Australian dollar was worth 79.16 US cents, down from 79.72 US cents on Friday.
European and British share markets finished well into positive territory on Friday.
In Europe, it appeared investors were turning their attention from bond yields and rising inflation to the strong earnings picture in Europe, thanks to a slew of well-received company results.
The DAX closed the day up 0.86 per cent at 12,451.96.
The UK’s top share index also closed higher, finding its first positive week since the middle of January.
The blue-chip FTSE 100 index closed up 0.83 per cent at 7,294.95 points, its highest level in one week. Mid caps rose 0.7 per cent.
Shares in financials and consumer staples, a sector which typically pays high dividends, added the most points to the index.
Asian shares rose for a fifth straight day on Friday as investor confidence slowly returns after a sharp sell-off earlier in February.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.4 per cent, though many Asian markets were closed on Friday for the Lunar New year.
Japan’s Nikkei rose 1.2 per cent, with investors relieved to see the government appoint Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda for another term, suggesting the central bank will be in no rush to dial back its massive stimulus programme.
Measured by the MSCI’s broadest gauge of the world’s stocks covering 47 markets, global shares have now reclaimed more than half of the 10.7 per cent plunge from a record intraday high on Jan. 29 to a four-month intraday low a week ago.
Hong Kong and China’s markets were closed for the Lunar New Year holiday.
The S/NZX50 Index rose 0.8 per cent, to 8,125.31.