• ASX SPI futures indicate a flat start to Thursday trade, up 5 points or 0.1 per cent despite the US S&P500 and Dow Jones indices reaching intra-day highs overnight.
  • Today’s Announcements: No major announcements.

Aussie shares set to start on a flat note despite the S&P500 and Dow Jones indices reaching record highs.

  • Thursday trade is expected to start flat with the ASX SPI futures pointing up by 5 points or 0.1 per cent. In the US on Wednesday, optimism around strong retail sales across the holiday period offset the fear caused by the Omicron-induced cancellation of flights. The US Dow Jones index closed up 90 points or 0.3 per cent to record highs. The S&P 500 index added 7 points or 0.1 per cent and also reached record highs during the session. And the Nasdaq index lost 16 points or 0.1 per cent.
  • In commodities markets, the Brent crude oil price gained US29 cents or 0.4 per cent to US$79.23 a barrel and the US Nymex crude price added US58 cents or 0.8 per cent to US$76.56 a barrel. The increase in prices was attributed to data showing that US crude inventories fell by more than expected in the past week. Investors are now looking ahead to the OPEC+ meeting next week. Aussie-listed energy companies such as Woodside Petroleum (WPL) and Santos (STO) may therefore trade higher today.
  • Bullion lost ground, with the gold futures price losing US$5.10 or 0.3 per cent to US$1,805.80 an ounce. Spot gold was trading near US$1,804 an ounce at the US close. The fall in the gold price could weigh on shares of Aussie gold miners such as Evolution Mining (EVN) and Newcrest Mining (NCM).
  • Iron ore gained US35 cents or 0.3 per cent to US$118.05 a tonne overnight. London-listed iron ore miners diverged, with shares in Rio Tinto down-0.4 per cent while shares in BHP rose by 1.3 per cent.

Originally published by Divik Nigam, Associate Equity Market Analyst and Craig James, Chief Economist, CommSec