S&P/ASX 200 Pre-Market News

Futures contracts for the S&P/ASX 200 (INDEXASX: XJO)(ASX: XJO) index are pointing to a negative open on Monday morning with oil pricesFortescue Metals Group Limited (ASX: FMG) and Fisher & Paykel Healthcare Corp Ltd (ASX: FPH) in the news.

Here’s the key headline data:

Australian Dollar ($A) (AUDUSD): 75.58 US cents

Dow Jones (DJI): down 0.2%

Oil (WTI): $US67.30 per barrel

Gold: $US1,296 per ounce

On Friday, London-listed shares of BHP Billiton Limited (ASX: BHP) and Rio Tinto Limited (ASX: RIO) finished 1.1% lower and 0.5% higher, respectively, according to Yahoo! Finance.

Australian Investing News

Making news in Australia, oil prices have fallen 4.8% to $US67.30 a barrel, according to data from Yahoo! Finance. The Washington Post reported that Saudi Arabia, the largest exporter of oil, is about to end its curb on production which has bolstered global prices.

OPEC, a group of oil producing countries which includes Saudi Arabia, is believed to have been concerned by US President Donald Trump’s Tweets about OPEC artificially increasing prices.

It wasn’t so long ago that oil prices were pushing lows of $US30 per barrel, a price which helped economies that consume vast amounts of oil, such as the US.

Closer to home and Fisher & Paykel Healthcare Corp Ltd (ASX: FPH), the biotechnology company, reported its full-year results showing a net profit of NZ$ 190 million, up 12% over the prior year and a record for the company.

Fisher & Paykel CEO Lewis Gradon said, “Our consistent long-term strategy has again delivered strong revenue and earnings growth over the past financial year and, over this same time period, our products and systems were used in the treatment of an estimated 13 million patients around the world.”

Fortescue Metals Group Limited (ASX: FMG) announced that its board has approved the development of the West Australian Eliwana mine and rail project, estimated to cost $US1.275 billion. The Pilbara project includes 143 kilometres of rail and a 30 million tonnes per annum processing facility.

Fortescue CEO Elizabeth Gaines said, “Development of the Eliwana Project will maintain Fortescue’s low cost status, providing us with greater flexibility to capitalise on market dynamics while maintaining a minimum 170 million tonnes per annum production rate over 20 years.”

Finally, advertising business APN Outdoor Group Limited (ASX: APN) updated its 2018 financial year operating profit forecast. In its ASX announcement, APN Outdoor said it expects to report underlying EBITDA (click here to learn what EBITDA means) of between $92 million and $96 million.

“The out-of-home markets in both Australia and New Zealand have remained robust in recent months and pleasingly our reinvigorated approach to sales continues to gain momentum,” APN Outdoor’s CEO James Warburton said.

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