ASX 200 to rise; Qube Holdings, WiseTech to pay dividends today


The Australian share market is expected to end the week on a positive note following strong overnight closing on Wall Street. In addition, the gains in heavyweight gold stocks on rising bullion prices are likely to boost the sentiment, while investors may reflect on the prospect of central banks hiking interest rates globally to curb rampant inflation.

According to the latest SPI futures, the ASX 200 is likely to open 39 points or 0.5% higher on Friday. On Thursday, the benchmark index fell 0.6% to 7,442.8 points.

Meanwhile, a few ASX-listed firms are scheduled to pay their latest dividends to shareholders include InvoCare Ltd, Link Administration Holdings Ltd, Qube Holdings Ltd, and WiseTech Global Ltd.

Stock indices were volatile on Thursday as investors digested hawkish signals from the Federal Reserve, and the US dollar index was flat. Comments earlier this week by US Fed governor Lael Brainard had already fueled expectations of a faster stimulus withdrawal.

On Wall Street, the Dow Jones rose 0.25%, the S&P 500 was up 0.43%, and the NASDAQ ended flat.

In Europe, the Stoxx 50 fell 0.6%, the FTSE declined 0.5%, the CAC dipped 0.6%, and the DAX ended 0.5% lower.

Rising COVID-19 cases and lockdowns in China sent Shenzen and Hong Kong stocks 1.3% lower.

Bond yields

Bond yields have jumped along with expectations of faster policy tightening by the Fed and other central banks.

  • 2-year yield: US 2.46%, Australia 2.09% (US prices as of 4.59 PM in New York)
  • 5-year yield: US 2.71%, Australia 2.73%
  • 10-year yield: US 2.66%, Australia 2.91%, Germany 0.68%

The dollar index was flat, while the euro was up 0.07% to US$1.0901.

Oil prices fall

Oil prices inched lower on Thursday on uncertainty that the euro zone will be able to effectively sanction Russian energy exports and after consuming nations announced a huge release of oil from emergency reserves.

  • Brent crude futures fell 0.5% to settle at US$100.58 a barrel.
  • WTI crude declined 0.6% to settle at US$96.03 a barrel.

Gold prices rise

Gold prices rose on Thursday as concerns over rising costs and the Ukraine crisis bolstered its appeal as an inflation hedge and a safe haven, but the US Fed’s aggressive policy stance limited gains.

  • US gold futures rose 0.8% to US$1,937.80.

Meanwhile, benchmark iron ore futures for September delivery, fell as much as 3.9% to 892 yuan a tonne, retreating from an over 4% jump in the previous session.

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