The Australian share market or S&P/ASX 200 (INDEXASX: XJO)(ASX: XJO) index is expected to open slightly lower on Monday morning, according to data from the Sydney Futures Exchange.

Here’s the key headline data:

SFE ASX 200 futures: -6 points

Australian Dollar ($A) (AUDUSD): 78 US cents

Dow Jones (DJI): down 0.5%

Oil (WTI): $US67.18 per barrel

Gold: $US1,344 per ounce

On Friday, London-listed shares of BHP Billiton Limited (ASX: BHP) and Rio Tinto Limited (ASX: RIO) finished up 0.8% and 0.9%, respectively, according to Yahoo! Finance.

Australian Investing News

Making news in Australia and on the ASX, Rio Tinto Limited announced that it would declare ‘force majeure‘ on some of its customer contracts following US sanctions on Russia. Force majeure is a mechanism to avoid fulfiling a contract because something outside of your control has taken place.

The US sanctions on Russia are a response to the country’s alleged ‘meddling’ in the US presidential elections. They affect Rio’s Queensland alumina refinery and bauxite sales because 20% of the refinery is owned by Russian aluminium producer, Rusal.

Further down the ASX and financial technology company Praemium Ltd (ASX: PPS) released its March update revealing funds under management of $7.8 billion.

“The March quarter was a tough one for equity markets globally with declining valuations and an increase in volatility,” Praemium CEO Michael Ohanessian said. “Despite an increase in investor uncertainty, we are pleased that our asset inflows held up and our overall FUA increased 5% over the December quarter.”

Transurban Group (ASX: TCL), the owner of many of Australia’s busiest toll roads, provided its update for March. Transurban said average daily traffic was 2.7% higher during the period with growth across all Australian markets.

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