The SPI is pointing to a slightly higher start for the Australian share market following a flat finish on Wall Street and steep falls in Europe after an EU summit highlighted the possible exit of Greece from the euro zone.
US economic news
Demand for new home sales have risen above expectations. The US commerce department reported sales up 3.3 per cent in April from the month before, with 343,000 new homes purchased. The news follows sales of existing homes yesterday which also rose throughout the country.
Wall Street closed mixed yesterday: The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 7 points to close at 12,496 the S&P500 gained 2 points to close at 1,319 and the Nasdaq gained11 points to close at 2,850.
European markets closed down: London’s FTSE fell 137 points, Paris lost 81 points and Frankfurt lost 150 points.
Asian markets closed down: Hong Kong’s Hang Seng lost 253 points, Tokyo’s Nikkei lost 173 and China’s Shanghai Composite lost 10 points.
The Australian share market closed lower yesterday: The S&P/ASX 200 Index closed 54 points down to finish at 4,067. On the futures market the SPI is 13 points higher.
The Australian Dollar at 7:15AM was buying 97.46 US cents, 62.14 Pence Sterling, 77.48 Yen and 77.5 Euro cents.
CFS Retail Property Trust (ASX:CFX) has negotiated $245 million of new long-dated debt via a bilateral bank debt facility and a private placement to US debt investors. CFS’ fund manager says the facility agreement with a major Asian bank is the first for the Trust. Shares CFS closed 1.33 per cent down yesterday at $1.85.
Rio Tinto Limited (ASX:RIO) has pledged support for Ivanhoe Mines to proceed with a rights offering aimed at raising $US1.8 billion. The financing plan is geared towards the ongoing development of Ivanhoe and Rio’s joint venture in the Oyu Tolgoi copper-gold project in Mongolia. As a 51 per cent shareholder, Rio says it plans to acquire the maximum number of shares allowed under the terms of the financing package. Shares in Rio closed 1.07 per cent down yesterday at $56.28.
One company is going ex-dividend today and one is scheduled for tomorrow.
Today: SP AusNet (ASX:SPN)
Tomorrow: PPK Group Limited (ASX:PPK)
Gold is down $28.20 to $US1,548.40 an ounce for the June contract on Comex.
Silver is down $0.66 to $27.52 for July.
Copper is down $0.09 at $3.40 a pound.
Oil is down $1.95 at US$89.90 a barrel for June light crude in New York.