Outlook: Aus shares poised to open lower

Market Reports

The Australian share market is poised to open lower following a soft start to the week as concerns about China’s growth continue to weigh on sentiment. Overnight American equity markets retreated from a positive start to end in the red as investors turned cautious amid earnings season. Elsewhere the price of iron ore has risen but the Australian dollar remains near six-year lows. 
 
Global markets
 
Wall Street moved lower on Monday: The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 0.5 per cent to close at 17,977, the S&P 500 dropped 0.5 per cent to close at 2,092 and the Nasdaq dropped 0.2 per cent to close at 4,988.
 
European markets started the trading week mixed: London's FTSE 100 lost 0.4 per cent, France's CAC 40 lifted 0.3 per cent and Germany's DAX fell 0.3 per cent.
 
Asian markets closed mixed on Monday: Japan’s Nikkei slipped 0.01 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng jumped 2.7 per cent, and China’s Shanghai Composite gained 2.2 per cent.
 
An initial boost from Wall Street failed to sustain the Australian share market following the release of weak trade data from China yesterday: The S&P/ASX 200 index slipped 8 points to close at 5,960 on Monday. On the futures market the SPI is 15 points lower. 
 
Currencies 
 
The Australian dollar at 7:30am was buying $US0.7585, 51.71 Pence Sterling, 91.14 Yen and 71.79 Euro cents.
 
Economic news due out today
 
Australian Bureau of Statistics: Lending finance for February
 
National Australia Bank Limited (ASX:NAB): Monthly business survey for February
 
ANZ Banking Group (ASX:ANZ)-Roy Morgan: Weekly consumer confidence survey
 
Company news
 
Lovisa Holdings Limited (ASX:LOV) has tied up the acquisition of 21 fashion accessory stores in South Africa after scoring regulatory approval at the end of last week. The Australian based retailer will pay $2 million with a further deferred payment of $250,000 payable in a year. The purchase will make Lovisa Holdings the largest fashion jewellery retailer in South Africa. Shares in Lovisa Holdings gained 2.22 per cent to close at $2.76 on Monday. 
 
Alexium International Group Limited (ASX:AJX) says it has boosted staff positions to meet marketplace demand. The surface treatment company has hired two extra staff to its sales team and a new head of product development. Alexium says the appointments are being made due to increasing demand for its environmentally friendly, durable and performance enhancing flame retardant solutions. Shares in Alexium International Group gained 5.56 per cent to close at $0.76 on Monday. 
 
Ex-dividends
 
Hills Limited (ASX:HIL) paying a 2.1 cent fully franked dividend 
SDI Limited (ASX:SDI) paying a 0.4 cent fully franked dividend
 
Commodities 

Gold has declined $5.30 to $US1,199 an ounce for the June contract on Comex. 
Silver has slipped $0.09 to $16.29 for May. 
Copper has eased $0.01 to $2.72 a pound. 
Oil has risen $0.27 to $US51.91 a barrel for May light crude in New York.