Market to follow Wall Street lower

The ASX 200 has closed down 0.10 percent to 5,779, held back by a heavy fall in Telstra shares which sank 10.6% after the telco revised its dividend policy.

Traders work on the floor at the closing bell of the Dow Industrial Average at the New York Stock Exchange on 16 August 2017. Picture: Bryan R. Smith/AFP

THE Australian market looks set to open sharply lower after Wall Street’s indexes slumped with the Dow down more than one per cent and the Nasdaq dropping close to two per cent. At 0700 AEST on Friday, the share price futures index was down 51 points, or 0.89 per cent, at 5,695.

In the US, stocks sold off, with the S&P 500 hitting its lowest level in a month, as escalating worries about the Trump administration’s ability to push through its agenda rattled investors.

Investors appeared to be losing faith in the administration’s ability to progress its agenda amid speculation White House Economic Adviser Gary Cohn’s could leave despite a White House official saying he intended to remain. The speculation came a day after Trump disbanded two business councils, with several chief executives quitting in protest over his remarks on white nationalists.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 1.24 per cent, the S&P 500 shed 1.54 per cent and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 1.94 per cent.

Locally, no major economic news is expected on Friday.

In equities, Primary Health Care, Kogan, Link Group and AVJennings are expected to post results.

The Australian market on Thursday fell slightly, weighed down by a massive sell- off of Telstra shares after the telco said it will cut future dividends. The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index dropped 5.9 points, or 0.1 per cent, to 5,779.2 points The broader All Ordinaries index lost 3.6 points, or 0.06 per cent, to 5,827.2 points Meanwhile, the Australian dollar has also fallen back sharply against its US counterpart, as well as the yen.

The local currency was trading at 78.85 US cents at 0700 AEST on Friday, from 79.47 on Thursday.

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