Aust shares look set to start 2018 steady

(Australian Associated Press)


The Australian share market looks set to open steady on the first day of trading for 2018.

At 0700 AEDT on Tuesday, the share price futures index was steady at 6,020.

In the US, Wall Street finished the 2017 trading year on a sour note, with the three key indexes falling around half a per cent or more with losses in technology and financial stocks keeping equities in negative territory for the session.

However for the year, the benchmark S&P 500 surged 19.5 per cent, the blue-chip Dow 25.2 per cent and Nasdaq 28.2 per cent – each scoring the best yearly performance since 2013.

On Friday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.48 per cent, to close at 24,719.22, the S&P 500 lost 0.52 per cent, to 2,673.61 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 0.67 per cent, to 6,903.39.

Locally, in economic news on Tuesday, the CoreLogic house prices data for December is expected to be released, as is the Ai Group’s performance of manufacturing index (PMI).

No major equities news is expected, although Australian chocolate maker Yowie Group may give a trading update and come out of a trading halt.

The Australian market closed lower on Friday, the last trading session for 2017, with almost all sectors in negative territory.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index fell 23 points, or 0.38 per cent, to 6,065.1 points while the broader All Ordinaries index lost 22.1 points, or 0.36 per cent, to 6,167.3

Meanwhile, the Australian dollar has crept a little higher against a depleted US counterpart.

The local currency was trading at 78.10 US cents at 0700 AEDT on Tuesday, from 78.03 on Friday.


One Australian dollar buys:

* 78.10 US cents, from 77.03 on Friday

* 87.94 Japanese yen, unchanged

* 65.04 euro cents, from 65.31 euro cents

* 57.78 British pence, from 57.97 pence

* 109.97 NZ cents, from 109.84 cents


The spot price of gold in Sydney at 0700 AEDT was $US1,302.61 per fine ounce, from $US1,295.70 per fine ounce on Friday.


* CGS 4.50 per cent April 2020, 2.0321pct, unchanged

* CGS 4.75pct April 2027, 2.6122pct, unchanged

Sydney Futures Exchange prices:

* March 2018 10-year bond futures contract at 97.34 (implying a yield of 2.66pct), unchanged from Friday

* March 2018 3-year bond futures contract at 97.84 (2.16pct), unchanged

(*Bond market closes taken at 1630 AEDT previous local session; currency closes taken from 1700 AEDT previous local session)

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