ASX poised to open marginally lower, US and UK markets closed overnight

Stock Markets

Australian shares are poised to open marginally lower today with not much news to report on since markets in the US and the UK were closed overnight for holidays. Europe's other major markets closed higher, boosted by the confirmation of merger talks between Fiat Chrysler and Renault as well as pro-European parties retaining a firm grip on the EU parliament. Equities markets were largely up across Europe, with the pan-European index STOXX 600 and Germany's DAX rising 0.21% and 0.5% respectively. Asian markets ended mixed on Monday after US President Donald Trump visited Japan to talk trade with Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. The Shanghai Composite and Japan's Nikkei gained 1.38% and 0.31% respectively. Meanwhile Hong Kong's Hang Seng and South Korea's Kospi declined 0.24% and 0.05% respectively.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index closed 4.15 (-0.06%) points lower on Monday, after weakness in 3 out of the 4 big banks as well as Telstra and Woolworths offset gains in the big miners. Information technology led gains as the sector largely pared Friday's losses. The materials sector also posted strong gains, up 0.78% after a rise in iron ore and copper prices lifted Australian miners.

ASX 200 futures are currently down 2 points.

Today's data releases:  Euro zone M3 money supply April, Economic confidence May, Business climate indicator May, Consumer confidence May final; US FHFA house prices March, S&P CoreLogic CS house prices March, CB consumer confidence May, Dallas Fed manufacturing May

Commodities & Currencies

Oil prices rose more than 1% on Monday, supported by Middle East tensions and OPEC-led supply cuts as well as continued crude disruptions from Russia after a contamination problem discovered last month. WTI and Brent crude are currently sitting at US$59.11 (+0.82%) and US$70.11 (+2.07%) per barrel respectively.

Iron ore prices are currently up 3.1% at US$108.62 a tonne.

The spot price of gold is currently up 0.04% at US$1285.31 an ounce.

The AUD is currently up 0.01% at US69.19¢.

This article was written by Mithun Fernando – Investment Analyst, Rivkin Securities Pty Ltd. Enquiries can be made via mithun.fernando@rivkin.com.au or by phoning +612 8302 3633.