13 January 2021 22:40
Australian shares are expected to open marginally higher following a mixed performance on on Wall Street overnight. ASX futures had risen 6 points (+0.1pc) to 6,621, by 8:00am AEDT. The Australian dollar was marginally weaker (-0.4pc) at 77.37 US cents, as the greenback recovered some of its recent losses. Investors are closely watching events in Washington, where the US House of Representatives gathered to consider impeaching President Donald Trump for allegedly inciting last week's assault on Capitol, which left five dead. On Wall Street, the Dow Jones index closed down 8 points lower (flat) at 31,060.
The S&P 500 gained 0.2 per cent to 3,810, while the Nasdaq added 0.4 per cent to 13,129. The US technology sector was boosted by a change of leadership at Intel, which jumped 7 per cent. The chipmaker has ousted its chief executive Bob Swan, and will replace him with next month with Pat Gelsinger, the boss of VMware. US markets hit record highs last week as expectations of a hefty COVID-19 relief package and hopes of a rebound in corporate earnings this year eclipsed concerns over signs that the labour market recovery had stalled amid rampant COVID-19 infections. "The market is starting to price in that there are some risks...
valuation is pretty extreme, optimism is way too high, we've got a disappointing rollout of further vaccine," said David Spika, president of GuideStone Capital Management in Dallas, Texas. "The expectation is that we'll have a significant increase in earnings and economic growth in 2021, but both are really dependent on the vaccine. "The market is looking through the impeachment and saying we're going to get this stimulus, which will be a bridge between now and when the vaccine can be adequately distributed." Brent crude oil fell (-0.9pc) to $US56.07 per barrel as the threat of lower demand due to rising global COVID-19 cases outweighed support from a greater-than-anticipated drop in US crude inventories. "While I see crude prices trading higher over the coming months, investors need to be mindful that the road to higher oil demand and prices will remain bumpy," UBS oil analyst Giovanni Staunovo said. Spot gold slipped (-0.4pc) to $US1,847.61 an ounce. Bitcoin rose (+4.5pc) to $US36,088 in the past 24 hours. ABC/Reuters