Outlook: ASX gets mixed leads, AUD rises

Market Reports

The SPI is pointing to a soft start for the Australian share market after global markets ended mixed. Wall Street finished flat and near its lows after the release of disappointing retail sales and import prices data. Across Europe the region’s GDP was shown to have expanded by 0.4 per cent in the first quarter. On the local front the Australian dollar has jumped above $US0.81 following these overseas economic releases. 
 
Global markets
 
Wall Street ended mixed on Wednesday: The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 0.04 per cent to close at 18,060, the S&P 500 dipped 0.03 per cent to close at 2,098 and the Nasdaq added 0.1 per cent to close at 4,982.
 
European markets also put in a mixed performance on Wednesday: London's FTSE 100 gained 0.2 per cent, France's CAC 40 dipped 0.3 per cent and Germany's DAX dropped 1.1 per cent.
 
Asian markets ended mixed yesterday: Japan’s Nikkei rose 0.7 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 0.6 per cent, and China’s Shanghai Composite retreated 0.6 per cent.
 
The Australian share market rose 0.7 per cent following the release of the Federal Budget: The S&P/ASX 200 index advanced 40 points to end at 5,715. On the futures market the SPI is 21 points lower. 
 
Currencies

The Australian dollar at 7:30am was buying $US0.8113, 51.54 Pence Sterling, 96.66 Yen and 71.47 Euro cents.
 
Company news
 
Real estate investment, development and funds management company Folkestone Limited (ASX:FLK) has announced two new developments in Victoria. Folkstone has entered into an option agreement with BWP Trust (ASX:BWP) and Bunnings Group to acquire a 3.4 hectare site at Altona North. Folkstone has also entered a second 50:50 joint venture with Wilmac Properties to develop strata office, warehouse, retail mews in Knoxfield. Shares in Folkestone rose 2.22 per cent to close at $0.23 on Wednesday. 
 
Australian Dairy Farms Group (ASX:AHF) has flagged plans to raise up to $17.7 million to acquire three producing dairy farms and to start paying dividends in the next 2016 fiscal year. Australia’s first ASX listed dairy farmer says the farms are located in South West Victoria and have a purchase price of $16 million for land and improvements, plus livestock. The acquisitions are expected to double the company’s milk production. Shares in Australian Dairy Farms Group fell 16 per cent to close at $0.21 on Wednesday. 
 
Ex-dividends 
 
CVC Limited (ASX:CVC) paying a 10 cent fully franked dividend 
 
Commodities 

Gold has gained $25.80 to $US1,218 an ounce for the June contract on Comex. 
Silver has risen $0.70 to $17.22 for July. 
Copper is steady at $2.93 a pound. 
Oil has fallen $0.25 to $US60.50 a barrel for June light crude in New York.