Microsoft and tech stocks boost Wall St, Australian dollar hits US76.5c:
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Microsoft and technology stocks boost Wall Street, Australian dollar hits US76.5c By business reporter David Chau, wires Despite a strong lead from US and European markets overnight, Australian shares are expected to start the day weaker. Markets at 7:20am (AEST):ASX SPI 200 futures -0.4pc to 6,003, ASX 200 (Monday close) +0.6pc at 6,026AUD: 75.49 US cents, 57.44 British pence, 65.38 Euro cents, 83.96 Japanese yen, $NZ1.09US: Dow Jones +0.7pc at 24,814, S&P 500 +0.5pc at 2,747, Nasdaq +0.7pc at 7,606Europe: FTSE +0.5pc at 7,741, DAX +0.4pc at 12,771, Euro Stoxx 50 +0.5pc at 3,470Commodities: Brent crude -1.7pc at $US75.48/barrel, spot gold -0.1pc at $US1,291.58/ounce The local stock market normally takes its cue from foreign bourses, but ASX futures have fallen 21 points (at 7:00am AEST).On the other hand, the Australian dollar has surged to a six-week high of 76.5 US cents, gaining 1.1 per cent.It also jumped to 57.4 British pence (+1.4pc), 65.4 euro cents (+0.8pc) and 84 Japanese yen (+1.4pc).This was after the Bureau of Statistics released some stronger than expected figures for retail sales and company operating profits, which may provide a small boost to Australia’s GDP figures (which are out on Wednesday).In the meantime, the Reserve Bank will decide on interest rates today, and it is almost certain it will keep rates on hold at the record low 1.5 per cent for the 20th consecutive month.Wall Street surges on tech rallyTechnology and consumer stocks provided the biggest boost to Wall Street, while falling oil prices weighed on energy shares.US markets were lifted by Amazon (+1.5pc) and Apple (+0.8pc), both of which hit new record share prices — $US1,665.27 and $US191.83 respectively.Another standout was Microsoft, which saw its stocks jump 0.9 per cent to $US101.67.This was after the tech giant announced it would takeover GitHub for $US7.5 billion.GitHub considers itself the world’s largest open-source software development platform, and is Microsoft’s most priciest purchase since its LinkedIn — for $US26 billion in 2016.The Nasdaq jumped 0.7 per cent to 7,606 points, its new record closing figure.The Dow Jones index also climbed 0.7 per cent to 24,814, while the S&P 500 rose by 0.5 per cent.More to come.
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Microsoft and tech stocks boost Wall St, Australian dollar hits US76.5c