Following sharp falls in US stocks driven by renewed fears about Greek default, the Australian share market looks set to open lower.
New stock market regulation from China cracking down on margin trading also dampened enthusiasm. This week, local investors will be scanning the minutes of the Reserve Bank’s April meeting for the latest clues on interest rates.
US economic news
The Labor Department is reporting that consumer prices rose a seasonally adjusted 0.2 per cent in March. It was the second consecutive month of rises and the biggest increase since June 2014.
Wall Street closed lower on Friday: The Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 1.5 per cent to close at 17,826, the S&P 500 lost 1.1 per cent to close at 2,081 and the NASDAQ retreated 1.5 per cent to close at 4,932.
European markets also ended with sharp losses: London’s FTSE slipped just under one per cent, Paris lost 1.6 per cent and Frankfurt declined 2.6 per cent.
Asian markets closed mixed: Tokyo’s Nikkei lost 1.2 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng eased 0.3 per cent, and China’s Shanghai Composite added 2.2 per cent.
The Australian share market closed lower on Friday: The S&P/ASX 200 Index closed 70 points down to finish at 5,878, retreating 91 points on the week. On the futures market the SPI is 47 points down.
The Australian Dollar at 7:30AM was buying 78.19 US cents, 52.25 Pence Sterling, 93.01 Yen and 72.31 Euro cents.
In an announcement made after market close on Friday packaging company Amcor Limited (ASX:AMC)
said that retirement of CEO Ken MacKenzie would be brought forward and current CFO Ron Delia would commence his new position as CEO immediately. The succession had been planned for 1 July as announced to the market earlier. Michael Casamento has been appointed acting CFO until a permanent replacement can be found. Shares in Amcor closed 0.76 per cent lower on Friday at $14.40.
Inabox Group Limited (ASX:IAB)
has varied and finalized it sale agreement with Axxis Technology Group. In the updated deal, Inabox will pay Axxis $150,000 cash to finalise on the purchase of its Anittel education business and will no longer be required to stump up for any performance consideration. The payment releases both companies from any further obligations and allows Inabox to immediately begin restructuring Anittel. Shares in Inabox Group Limited closed 16.14 per cent lower on Friday at $0.805.
Two companies are going ex-dividend today: Centruria Metro Real Estate Investment Trust (ASX:CMA)
will pay 5.06 cents un-franked and WAM Capital Limited (ASX:WAM)
will pay 7 cents fully franked.
Gold has lifted $5.10 to $US1,203 an ounce for the June contract on Comex. Silver has slipped 5 cents to $16.23 for May. Copper has added less than a cent to $2.77 a pound. Oil has slipped $0.97 to $US55.74 a barrel for May light crude in New York.