5 things you need to know about the Australian sharemarket today

S&P/ASX 200 falls, following offshore markets down

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Welcome to Wednesday. Here are the five things I’m looking at today on the Australian sharemarket.

  1. The S&P/ ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) has opened 0.9% lower as Wall Street crashed overnight.

    In the US, the Dow Jones dropped 0.8% and the broader S&P 500 lost 1.2% while the tech-heavy NASDAQ tumbled by 1.6%.

    Oil prices were up, with Brent Crude Oil gaining 1.6% to US$67.52 per barrel while WTI Crude added 0.5% to US$60.69 per barrel. (WTI stands for West Texas Intermediate and is the benchmark oil price in the US while the Brent crude oil price is more widely used in Europe.)Iron ore prices were up 2%, and last traded at US$58.70 per tonne.

    The Australian dollar has dropped heavily against the US dollar again and is currently buying 78.2 US cents.

  2. TPG Telecom Limited (ASX: TPM) has upped its bid for iiNet Limited (ASX: IIN) to $1.57 billion, offering $8.80 per share plus a 75 cent special dividend. Although similar in value to M2 Group Ltd’s (ASX: MTU) offer, iiNet’s board has recommended shareholders accept TPG’s revised bid.It remains to be seen whether M2 will come back with a counter offer.

    iiNet shares last traded at $10.00, so it appears investors are expecting more bids to come in.

  3. Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX: CBA) has reported a $2.2 billion cash profit for the three months to end of March 2015, unchanged from last year. Following on from Westpac Banking Corp’s (ASX: WBC) ordinary results on Monday, it clearly shows Australia’s banks are struggling to generate growth.If you own bank shares, you need to read this newly updated report –> What Every Bank Shareholder Must Know

     

  4. Tweet of the Day

    Woolworths Limited (ASX: WOW) see petrol sales slammed in the 3rd quarter. We’ll have full coverage of the results on our website later this morning.

  5. Stock of the Day – brought to you by Tom Richardson – Flight Centre Travel Group Ltd (ASX: FLT). The travel agent has announced expansion into Mexico – adding another offshore country to its list. You can read more here.

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Motley Fool contributor Mike King owns shares in TPG Telecom, M2 Group and Flight Centre. You can follow Mike on Twitter @TMFKinga The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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