The ASX Today

The ASX is hinting it will open higher this morning, but a near-nationwide public holiday will slow things down today.

The ASX is hinting it will open higher this morning, but a near-nationwide public holiday will slow things down today.

ASX SPI 200 Futures traders added 22 points to the index after a strong session in the US on Friday.

It's the first business day of the new quarter and also a public holiday in NSW, Queensland, Canberra and South Australia today, following a public holiday in Victoria on Friday. Expect lower than average trading volumes again.

In Australia, this is the start of a big data drop week, including the RBA's monthly meeting tomorrow. Offshore, China is on a weeklong holiday so commodity prices could be slower to move in particular. Local resource stocks look to be supported for the open today, however.

KEY POINTS

  • Near-nationwide public holiday – expect reduced trade
  • Resource stocks could find support at the open, from Friday and weekend data, but there's little new direction considering China's on a public holiday
  • September CoreLogic Australian home values index released
  • AiG Manufacturing PMI for September released locally
  • September MI inflation gauge published locally
  • The Australian dollar is buying US78.27c this morning

The S&P 500 closed at a new record on Friday – 2519 points. The Dow rose 0.11 per cent to 22,405 points, and the Nasdaq was up 0.66 per cent to 5495 points. Tech, healthcare and financial stocks delivered the biggest boosts to major US indices on Friday.

Locally, there could be moves in resource stocks at the open. BHP's ADR closed just 8c higher in the US on Friday, and the S&P 500 materials sector finished relatively flat, but analysts believe better than expected China manufacturing data released over the weekend will support our local sector.

Spot iron ore is 1.9 per cent lower at $US61.50 at 8am AEST, and futures finished 1.5 per cent lower on Friday, but there's little direction for our major producers with respect to this considering China is on a public holiday.

There's mixed views about what the energy sector will do today. Brent crude oil closed 0.2 per cent higher at $US57.54 a barrel on Friday – but the US Baker-Hughes rig count did snap three weeks of declines, which could prompt some traders to sell off.

With daylight saving having started in Australia on the weekend, US share markets will now close later, and S&P 500, gold, copper and crude futures markets now all open at 9am AEST.

The US dollar closed the week on the front foot, still off last week's highs, but with new momentum following Trump's tax reform blueprint released mid-week.

At the cross, the Australian dollar is buying US78.27c this morning. Westpac strategists said they are looking for the Aussie to hold above US78c, noting that the market will be quiet given the Australian holiday.

Market Summary: 
IndexLast( /-)Change
Dow22,405.0923.890.11
S&P 5002,519.369.300.37
Nasdaq6,495.9642.510.66
FTSE 1007,372.7649.540.68
DAX12,828.86124.210.98

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