The Australian share market looks set to open firmly in the red with little to offer guidance as Wall Street stays closed for the Martin Luther King Jnr public holiday.
At 0700 AEDT on Tuesday, the share price futures index was down 1 points, or 0.02 percent, at 6,025.
In economic news on Tuesday, the Australian Bureau of Statistics is due to release December’s new motor vehicles sales figures.
The ANZ-Roy Morgan Consumer Confidence weekly survey is also due out.
In equities news, Rio Tinto is expected to provide a quarterly operations review while Mirabooka Investments is slated to release half-year results.
The Australian market on Monday closed modestly higher after the miners offset weakness from the energy players and a flat performance by the banks.
The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index rose seven points, or 0.12 percent, to 6,077.1 points while the broader All Ordinaries index lifted 10.9 points, or 0.18 percent, to 6,187.7 points.
Wall Street was closed on Monday for the Martin Luther King Jnr public holiday.
Copper prices rose Monday, buoyed along with most other commodities by the U.S. dollar’s continuing weakness.
The base metal was last up 1.76% at $7,238 a metric ton in midmorning trade.
Gold was also higher, rising 0.57% at $1,343.11 a troy ounce, moving inversely to the dollar as it usually does.
IRON ORE: $75.66 -0.40(February contract)
Oil prices started the week slightly lower Monday, pressured by a rising U.S. rig count, even as the price of crude continues to hover near record three-year highs.
Brent crude, the global benchmark, was down 0.2% at $69.73 a barrel, on London’s Intercontinental Exchange. On the New York Mercantile Exchange, West Texas Intermediate futures were trading down 0.1%, at $64.24 a barrel.
The Chinese yuan hit its strongest level against the faltering U.S. dollar in two years, even as authorities in Beijing loosen controls meant to prop up the yuan.
The People’s Bank of China on Monday morning strengthened the daily fix by the most in three months. In China, the yuan is allowed to move 2% higher or lower than this setting.
The yuan appreciated as much as 0.7% to 6.4168 to the dollar, its strongest since December 2015, before closing up 0.3% at 6.4417, according to official rates from the China Foreign Exchange Trade System. In Hong Kong, where the currency trades freely around the clock, the yuan strengthened 0.3% to 6.4314 to the dollar.
During the past few months, the central bank has loosened policy measures that had supported the yuan — and caused losses for hedge funds that had bet against the currency in anticipation of a sharp economic slowdown in China.
The Australian dollar has continued its confident march toward 80 US cents as the greenback’s weakness lingers with a holiday in the US.
At 0635 AEDT on Tuesday, the Australian dollar was worth 79.71 US cents, up from 79.54 US cents on Monday.
European stocks edged lower on Monday following two weeks of gains, with cyclical stocks among the biggest decliners while merger activity remained in focus.
Shares in some competitors of Carillion rose after the long-struggling construction and support services company collapsed, with banks refusing to lend it any more money.
Serco jumped 7.3 percent, Interserve 2 percent, and Kier Group 3.5 percent, while Balfour Beatty fell 3.3 percent.
While the STOXX index has seen a strong start to 2018 and has held at its highest levels since August 2015, weakness among banking and energy stocks kept the index in negative territory, while a stronger euro added pressure.
Some Asian shares hit historic highs on Monday after Wall Street extended its record-breaking run, while China and Hong Kong’s key indexes lost ground.
MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was firmer by 0.21 percent while Japan’s Nikkei index closed up 0.26 percent at 23,714.88.
Hong Kong’s benchmark stock index snapped a 14-day winning streak, dragged down by a retreat in property shares and index heavyweight Tencent Holdings which declined 2 percent.
The Hang Seng index fell 0.23 percent to 31,338.87. The Hang Seng China Enterprises index rose 0.01 percent to 12,470.42.
China’s main Shanghai Composite index closed down 0.55 percent at 3,410.49 points while its blue-chip CSI300 index ended flat, up just 0.01 percent at 4,225.24.
The S&P/NZX50 Index dropped 30.98 points, or 0.4 percent, to 8211.37.