The Australian share market looks set to start the week in positive territory after US stocks closed marginally higher on Friday, capping off a six-day rally that hasn’t been seen since 2010, as investors pin their hopes on a central bank stimulus.
US economic news
The Labor Department has reported import prices slipped 0.6 per cent compared to June. Economists were expecting a rise of 0.1 per cent. The Treasury department has revealed the US federal budget deficit narrowed during the first 10 months of the government's fiscal year due to higher tax collections.
Wall Street closed up on Friday: The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 43 points to close at 13,208, the S&P500 added 3 points to close at 1,406 and the Nasdaq gained 2 points to close at 3,021.
European markets closed down: London’s FTSE lost 4 points, Paris shed 21 points and Frankfurt was down 20 points.
Asian markets closed down: Hong Kong’s Hang Seng lost 133 points, Tokyo’s Nikkei was down by 87 and China’s Shanghai Composite shed 5 points.
The Australian share market closed lower on Friday: The S&P/ASX 200 Index closed 31 points down to finish at 4,277. On the futures market the SPI is 17 points up.
Turning to currencies and the Australian Dollar at 7:15AM was buying $US1.056, 67.38 Pence Sterling, 82.61 Yen and 85.92 Euro cents.
Due out today from the Australian Bureau of Statistics is lending finance for June.
A transaction has been reportedly agreed on between Westfield Group (ASX:WDC) and AMP Limited (ASX:AMP) to end their corporate affiliation. According to News Corp, Westfield and AMP will divide their shopping centre assets, after the two were unable to agree on the future of the jointly owned assets. The property swap will see AMP acquire remaining interest in Macquarie centre in Sydney, Pacific Fair on the Gold Coast and Booraggon in Perth, which have a combined total book value of $1.1 billion. Shares in AMP closed 0.97 per cent down on Friday at $4.09.
Country Road Limited (ASX:CTY) has advised its 11.84 per cent shareholder Australian Retail Investments Pty Ltd (ARI) has threatened to commence legal proceedings that could jeopardise the retailer raising $92 million in a rights issue, that is partly geared towards funding the acquisition of the Witchery Group. Solomon Lew’s ARI claims they have not been able to objectively assess whether or not to participate in the rights issue, based on current disclosures made by Country Road. Shares in Country Road closed 0.61 per cent upon Friday at $3.07.
Alesco Corporation Limited (ASX:ALS)
Advanced Share Registry Limited (ASX:ASW)
Bradken Limited (ASX:BKN)
K2 Asset Management Holdings Limited (ASX:KAM)
Navitas Limited (ASX:NVT)
Westfield Group (ASX:WDC)
Westfield Retail Trust (ASX:WRT)
Gold is up $2.60 to $US1,623 an ounce for the December contract on Comex. Silver is down $0.04 to $28.06 for September. Copper is down $0.03 at $3.39 a pound. Oil is down $0.49 at US$92.87 a barrel for September light crude in New York.