Outlook: ASX set to slip before jobs report

Market Reports

The Australian share market looks set to slip ahead of the nation’s monthly jobs report due for release this morning. US equity markets ended near session lows after the US Federal Reserve chair’s latest comments. Janet Yellen warned stock values appear quite high and bond yields are looking very low. 
 
Across commodity market the price of iron ore has risen back above $US60 per tonne and the Australian dollar is trading just under $US0.80. On the company front the banking sector will again be in focus with National Australia Bank Limited's (ASX:NAB) half year report due. Annual General Meetings (AGM) will be held for Rio Tinto Limited (ASX:RIO), AMP Limited (ASX:AMP), Caltex Australia Limited (ASX:CTX), Scentre Group Limited (ASX:SCG) and Iress Limited (ASX:IRE)
 
Global markets
 
Wall Street closed in the red on Wednesday: The Dow Jones Industrial Average dipped 0.5 per cent to close at 17,842, the S&P 500 eased 0.5 per cent to close at 2,080 and the Nasdaq lost 0.4 per cent to close at 4,920.
 
European markets gained ground yesterday: London's FTSE 100 firmed 0.1 per cent, France's CAC 40 added 0.2 per cent and Germany's DAX put on 0.2 per cent.
 
Asian markets finished mixed on Wednesday: Japan’s Nikkei added 0.1 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 0.4 per cent, and China’s Shanghai Composite dropped 1.6 per cent.
 
The Australian share market plunged 2.3 per cent and ended at session lows yesterday. The S&P/ASX 200 index retreated 134 points to close at 5,692 on Wednesday. On the futures market the SPI is 22 points lower. 
 
Currencies
 
The Australian dollar at 7:30am was buying $US0.7974, 52.32 Pence Sterling, 95.26 Yen and 70.31 Euro cents.
 
Economic news due out today 
 
Australian Bureau of Statistics: Labour force data for April 
 
Australian Industry Group-Housing Industry Association: Performance of construction index for April
 
Company news
 
Despite the benchmark index sinking to a three-month low yesterday some stocks bucked the trend. Shares in AVJennings Limited (ASX:AVJ) rose after updating the market on its strong performance and confirming it plans to generate an annual profit of more than $40 million. The residential property development company’s anticipated result has been boosted by continuing strong market conditions, particularly in New South Wales, Queensland and Auckland. Shares in AVJennings rose 7.93 per cent to close at $0.68 following the announcement. 
 
Shares in Orca Energy Limited (ASX:OGY) soared after revealing a $20 million capital raising backed by mining executive Nathan Tinkler, pearl businessman Nick Paspaley and his business partner John Robinson. The oil and gas explorer and producer expects Mr Tinkler will join its board as its Executive Chairman and Mr Robinson will come on as a Director following the placement. Shares in Orca Energy soared 218.18 per cent to close at $0.035 following the announcement. 
 
Ex-dividends

Alcoa Inc. (ASX:AAI) paying a 2.6 cent unfranked dividend 

Commodities 

Gold has declined $2.90 to $US1,190 an ounce for the June contract on Comex. 
Silver has eased $0.07 to $16.51 for July. 
Copper has lost $0.01 to $2.93 a pound. 
Oil has added $0.53 to $US60.93 a barrel for June light crude in New York.