Outlook: ASX set for a soft start to the week

Market Reports

US markets ended lower on Friday however the S&P500 and Nasdaq posted modest gains for the week. Comments from Fed Reserve Chairwomen Janet Yellen that the central bank was still inclined to raise interest rates sometime this year saw stocks sold off towards the end of the session. The Aussie market looks set continue last week’s losses with a weak open this morning. 

US economic news

The Labor Department says consumer prices rose just 0.1 per cent in April. However once the more volatile energy and food costs were stripped out, core prices showed a higher than expected 0.3 per cent increase. 

Wall Street closed lower on Friday The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 0.3 per cent to close at 18,232, the S&P 500 lost 0.2 per cent to close at 2,126 and the NASDAQ was almost flat to end at 5,089.
European markets closed mixed: London’s FTSE gained 0.3 per cent, Paris lost nearly 0.1 per cent and Frankfurt shed 0.4 per cent.
Asian markets closed higher: Tokyo’s Nikkei added 0.3 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng advanced 1.7 per cent, and China’s Shanghai Composite climbed 2.8 per cent.
The Australian share market closed flat on Friday: The S&P/ASX 200 Index closed 2 points up to finish at 5,665, to be 71 points down on the week. On the futures market the SPI is 9 points lower.  
Turning to currencies and the Australian Dollar at 7:20AM was buying 78.34 US cents, 50.67 Pence Sterling, 95.18 Yen and 71.19 Euro cents.
Company news
The S&P Dow Jones indices has announced that it will remove Novion Property Group (ASX:NVN) from the S&P/ASX200 subject to shareholder and final court approval. Novion will merge with Federation Centres (ASX:FDC) effective from the close of trade on Friday. Novion be replaced in the index with Fisher & Paykel Healthcare Corporation Limited (ASX:FPH). Shares in Novion Property Group advanced 1.58 per cent to $2.57 on Friday.  
A second company will also be removed from the indices. Singapore Telecommunications Limited (ASX:SGT) will be removed at the end of this week following the company’s request to have their CHESS Depositary Interests delisted. Singtel will be replaced by Select Harvests Limited (ASX:SHV). Shares in Singapore Telecommunications last traded 1.76 per cent up at $4.05 ahead of the weekend. 

Gold has slipped 10 cents to $US1,204 an ounce for the June contract on Comex. Silver has shed 8 cents to $17.05 for July. Copper has dipped 4 cents to $2.81 a pound. Oil has declined $1.00 to US$59.72 a barrel for July light crude in New York.

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