The Australian share market is set for a soft start on the first day of the month, after US markets closed slightly lower as investors remain cautious ahead of meetings scheduled later this week that will determine whether the US Federal Reserve and European Central Bank will announce new stimulus measures to boost the economy.
US economic news
Personal income rose 0.5% in June, following a 0.5 per cent advance in May according to the US Commerce Department and coming in slightly above expectations. Some encouraging signs for the US housing market with an industry report showing house prices climbed 2.2 per cent in May a rise for the second straight month.
Wall Street closed lower yesterday: The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 64 points to close at 13,009, the S&P500 shed 6 points to close at 1,379 and the Nasdaq lost 6 points to close at 2,940.
European markets closed lower: London’s FTSE lost 58 points, Paris was down 29 and Frankfurt lost 2 points.
Asian markets closed mixed: Hong Kong’s Hang Seng added 211 points, Tokyo’s Nikkei added 60 and China’s Shanghai Composite lost 6 points.
The Australian share market closed higher yesterday: The S&P/ASX 200 Index closed 23 points up to finish at 4,269. On the futures market the SPI is 17 points lower.
The Australian Dollar at 7:15AM was buying $US1.05 cents, 67.06 Pence Sterling, 82.07 Yen and 85.4 Euro cents.
Due out today from the Australian Bureau of Statistics is the house price index for the June quarter, also out today from the Reserve Bank of Australia is the index of commodity prices for July as well as the Australian Industry Group/PricewaterhouseCoopers performance of manufacturing index for last month.
Sundance Resources Limited (ASX:SDL) is set to announce news of a takeover deal from Chinese suitor Hanlong Mining. Sundance entered into a trading halt yesterday pending an announcement relating to Chinese regulatory approval for the takeover. The iron ore explorer recommended shareholders vote in favour of the acquisition earlier this year. The proposed offer of $0.57 per Sundance share is based on Hanlong acquiring 100 per cent of the company, giving Sundance a valuation of about $1.7 billion. Shares in Sundance closed 2.9 per cent lower yesterday at $0.335.
DuluxGroup Limited (ASX:DLX) has increased its stake in Alesco Corporation Limited (ASX:ALS) to more than 38 per cent, after two of Alesco's major shareholders agreed to tender their shares in the company. Northcape Capital and Wilson Asset Management showed their support for the paint maker, by selling their interest to DuluxGroup. Alesco remains opposed to the takeover. Shares in DuluxGroup closed 0.33 per cent up yesterday at $3.08.
E-Pay Asia Limited (ASX:EPY) $0.08 unfranked dividend
Singapore Telecommunications Limited (ASX:SGT) with a $0.069 unfranked dividend
Gold is down $9.20 to $US1,610.50 an ounce for the August contract on Comex.
Silver is down $0.12 to $27.91 for September.
Copper is up $0.002 at $3.42 a pound.
Oil is down $0.13 at US$87.95 a barrel for September light crude in New York.