MARKET NEWS

Australian market opens weaker
26/05/2017 10:16 AM

The Australian share market has started on a weak note, despite a positive lead from Wall Street, with energy stocks leading the indices lower after oil prices plunged five per cent.

At 1010 AEST, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 was down 26.5 points, or 0.46 per cent, at 5,763.1 points, while the broader All Ordinaries index was down 25.5 points, or 0.44 per cent, at 5,803.3 points.

The June SPI200 futures contract was trading 28 points, or 0.48 per cent, lower, at 5,767 points.

Australian market set to open flat
26/05/2017 7:35 AM

The Australian market looks set to open flat after a near-five per cent plunge in the oil price and bucking Wall Street's record-setting positive lead.

At 0702 AEST on Friday, the share price futures index was down three points, or 0.05 per cent, at 5,792.

Brent and WTI crude prices fell 4.6 per cent and 4.8 per cent, respectively, after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and some non-OPEC producers agreed to extend supply cuts of 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) until the end of the 2018 first quarter.

In the US, the S&P 500 rose 0.44 per cent and the Nasdaq gained 0.69 per cent, both to record highs, with the market propped up by gains in consumer discretionaries.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average also lifted, by 0.34 per cent.

Locally, no major economic or equities news is expected on Friday.

However, Reserve Bank of Australia Head of Payments Policy Tony Richards is slated to speak at the Australian Retail Banking Summit in Sydney.

The 30th annual China Wool Industrial Association conference will be held at Tinayu Wool Industry president Qingnan Wen's Lal Lal Estate property in Ballarat. It is the first time the conference will be held outside of China.

The Australian market on Thursday gained ground as strength in the mining and energy sectors outweighed falls by retailers, while the Australian dollar returned to a three-week high.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index rose 20.6 points, or 0.36 per cent, to 5,789.6 points at the close.

The broader All Ordinaries index gained 17.3 points, or 0.3 per cent, to 5,828.8 points.

Meanwhile, the Australian dollar has fallen amid sinking commodity prices as oil slumps more than four per cent with markets disappointed by OPEC's extension of production cuts.

The local currency was trading at 74.56 US cents at 0702 AEST on Friday, from 74.91 on Thursday.

CURRENCY SNAPSHOT AT 0702 AEST:

One Australian dollar buys:

* 74.56 US cents, from 74.91 on Thursday

* 83.35 Japanese yen, from 83.70 yen

* 66.52 euro cents, from 66.71 cents

* 57.60 British pence, from 57.71 pence

* 196.17 New Zealand cents, from 106.45 NZ cents

BOND SNAPSHOT AT 0702 AEST:

* CGS 4.50 per cent April 2020, 1.6746pct, unchanged

* CGS 4.75pct April 2027, 2.438pct, unchanged

Sydney Futures Exchange prices:

* June 2017 10-year bond futures contract at 97.53 (implying a yield of 2.47pct), unchanged from Thursday

* June 2017 3-year bond futures contract at 98.28 (1.72pct), unchanged

(*Currency closes taken at 1700 AEST previous local session, bond market closes taken at 1630 AEST previous local session)

$A slumps against $US
26/05/2017 6:58 AM

The Australian dollar is sharply lower against its US counterpart as the oil price plunges five per cent and the US dollar rebounds.

At 0635 AEST on Friday, the Australian dollar was worth 74.53 US cents, down from 74.91 US cents on Thursday.

Westpac's Imre Speizer said Brent crude prices fell five per cent with markets underwhelmed by OPEC's production cuts.

And, while the US dollar rebounded in the London session and interest rates were stable, the Aussie dollar had fallen.

"AUD fell from its afternoon peak of 0.7516 to 0.7451," he said in a morning note on Friday.

He said he could not see the Aussie heading very high and doubted there would be any fresh breach above 76 US cents for some time.

"The 75.15 (US cent) area is a minor barrier to further upside for now.

"The modestly weaker-than-expected Australian CPI outcome has added yet another factor capping the Australian dollar: softer commodity prices; a more protectionist stance from US president Trump, and higher US yields if the Fed raises rates in June as we expect. These leave the $A with strong resistance at 0.76.

The local currency is also lower against the yen and the euro.

CURRENCY SNAPSHOT AT 0635 AEST ON FRIDAY

One Australian dollar buys:

* 74.53 US cents, from 74.91 on Thursday

* 83.38 Japanese yen, from 83.70 yen

* 66.51 euro cents, from 66.71 euro cents

(*Currency closes taken at 1700 AEST previous local session)