Outlook: ASX set for slightly higher start

Market Reports

The Australian share market is set for a slightly higher start after global markets advanced overnight. The Nasdaq climbed to a record close on the back of Greece’s debt deal and positive earnings. US jobless claims were shown to have fallen last week while homebuilder confidence improved. In Europe the European Central Bank (ECB) has maintained rates near record lows and closer to home the Australian dollar remains just over $US0.74. 
 
Global markets
 
Wall Street saw steady gains on Thursday: The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.4 per cent to close at 18,120, the S&P 500 gained 0.8 per cent to close at 2,124 and the Nasdaq gained 1.3 per cent to close at 5,163.
 
European markets rallied on Thursday: London's FTSE 100 lifted 0.6 per cent, France's CAC 40 lifted 1.5 per cent and Germany's DAX lifted 1.5 per cent.
 
Asian markets moved higher on Thursday: Japan’s Nikkei rose 0.7 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rose 0.4 per cent, and China’s Shanghai Composite rose 0.5 per cent.
 
The Australian share market lifted 0.6 per cent after the Greek Parliament approved conditions set out by its creditors in return for a bailout package: The S&P/ASX 200 index gained 33 points to close at 5,670 on Thursday. On the futures market the SPI is 7 points higher. 
 
Currencies 
 
The Australian dollar at 7:30am was buying $US0.7409, 47.52 Pence Sterling, 91.97 Yen and 68.13 Euro cents.
 
Company news
 
Shares in Horizon Oil Limited (ASX:HZN) soared amid renewed speculation the oil and gas group may have caught the eyes of suitors. Media reports speculate a number of parties have been keeping their eyes on Horizon, a stock that has fallen about 20 per cent in the last six months. Horizon inked a deal to merge with Roc Oil Company Limited (ASX:ROC) last year but Roc was subsequently taken over by China’s Fosun International. Shares in Horizon Oil soared 14.94 per cent to close at $0.10 on Thursday. 
 
Shares in Novogen Limited (ASX:NRT) surged more than 20 per cent just before close after releasing an update on its chemotherapy candidate drug Anisia. The drug discovery group says it has received notification from the US Food and Drug Administration that Anisia has received orphan drug designation for neuroblastoma. The milestone could help with scoring government grants, tax incentives and marketing rights. Shares in Novogen surged 22.92 per cent to close at $0.295 on Thursday. 
 
Commodities 
Gold has dipped $3.50 to $US1,144 an ounce for the August contract on Comex. 
Silver has slipped $0.10 to $14.95 for September. 
Copper has eased $0.003 to $2.52 a pound. 
Oil has fallen $0.55 to $US51.24 a barrel for August light crude in New York.



Thanks for watching the Australian Share Market Outlook on Friday 17 of July. I’m Lelde Smits for the Finance News Network.