Outlook: ASX set to open higher as dollar surges

Market Reports


Following mixed leads from US stocks in a choppy session, the Australian share market looks set to open higher. The Aussie dollar is surging ahead of the next Reserve Bank interest rate decision providing a little support for the local bourse. 
 
US investors were digesting a slew of earnings reports as they nervously await the latest signs on when interest rates could start climbing higher. 
 
The Federal Reserve Open Market committee meeting kicked off on Tuesday but the decision on interest rates won’t be heard until Wednesday afternoon US time. 
 
And shares in Twitter plunged over 18 per cent after the social media platform lowered guidance on second quarter revenue by $100 million dollars.  
US economic news


The US index of consumer confidence missed expectations in April coming in at 95.2, well below the estimated 102.5. This follows a reading of 101.4 in March as is the lowest read since December. Consumer outlook has softened especially in the areas of business conditions and jobs expectations. 
 
Markets

Wall Street closed mixed yesterday: The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.4 per cent to close at 18,110, the S&P 500 added 0.3 per cent to close at 2,115 and the NASDAQ lost 0.1 to close at 5,055.
 
European markets closed lower: London’s FTSE slipped 1 per cent, Paris retreated 1.8 per cent and Frankfurt shed 1.9 per cent.
 
Asian markets closed mixed: Tokyo’s Nikkei added 0.4 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was steady, and China’s Shanghai Composite retreated 1.1 per cent.
 
The Australian share market closed lower yesterday: The S&P/ASX 200 Index closed 34 points down to finish at 5,949. On the futures market the SPI is 11 points up. 
 

Currencies

The Australian Dollar at 7:30AM was buying 80.21 US cents, 52.3 Pence Sterling, 95.35 Yen and 73.08 Euro cents.
 

 
Company news

OzForex Group Limited (ASX:OFX) say they have found a New Zealand banking partner to replace the services provided by Westpac New Zealand. Earlier this year Westpac made a strategic decision to exit the money service industry. OzForex says the transition in the New Zealand market will be seamless with no impact on delivery of funds to costs to customers. Shares in OzForex last traded down 1.32 per cent at $2.25. 
 
After market close yesterday, M2 Group Limited (ASX:MTU) clarified that based on its share price before the offer was made, it valued its offer to iiNet at $10.00 per share, a 16.3 per cent premium to the TPG offer. However, M2 said that it recognises that there were differing views on the value of a scrip-based offer and the synergies involved and that the iiNet board would have to form its own view on the value of the offer. Shares in M2 Group closed down 1.47 per cent at $10.74 yesterday. 
 

Commodities

Gold has added $10.70 to $US1,214 an ounce for the June contract on Comex. Silver has added 20 cents to $16.59 for May. Copper is up 1 cent to $2.78 a pound. Oil rose 7 cents to US$57.06 a barrel for June light crude in New York.