Outlook: Aus shares set to open slightly lower

Market Reports

In the US, tech giant Apple plunged a further 3.8 per cent overnight effectively entering correction territory. The stock is now 15 per cent down on its high point this year. 
That coupled with comments from a Federal Reserve President that indicate rates could start rising in September sent US stocks lower for the session providing our local market with a negative lead. 

Wall Street closed lower yesterday: The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 0.3 per cent to close at 17,551, the S&P 500 lost 0.2 per cent to close at 2,093 and the NASDAQ lost 0.2 per cent to close at 5,106.
European markets closed mixed: London’s FTSE was nearly flat, Paris lost 0.2 per cent and Frankfurt added 0.1 per cent.
Asian markets closed mixed: Tokyo’s Nikkei shed 0.1 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was flat, and China’s Shanghai Composite added 3.7 per cent.
The Australian share market closed higher yesterday: The S&P/ASX 200 Index closed 19 points up to finish at 5,698. On the futures market the SPI is 16 points down. 

The Australian Dollar at 7:20AM was buying 73.81 US cents, 47.43 Pence Sterling, 91.79 Yen and 67.82 Euro cents.

Company news

Austal Limited (ASX:ASB) has delivered the first of two high speed catamaran ferries to the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company. The contract for the two ferries is worth around $30 million to the ship builder and the company says its on time and on budget to deliver the second ferry by the end of September. Shares in Austal last traded up 1.29 per cent at $1.965. 
Beacon Lighting Group (ASX:BLX) bring two Beacon Lighting franchised stores back into its core retail operation. The stores, located in the Watergardens Homemaker Centre and Essendon Homemaker Hub have both built a respectable customer base and will rejoin as company stores from the end of September. Shares in Beacon Lighting Group last traded up 0.49 per cent at $2.06.  

Two companies are trading ex-dividend today. Alcoa Incorporated (ASX:AAI) will pay 2.83 cents with no franking and BKI Investment Limited (ASX:BKI) will pay 3.65 cents fully franked. 

Gold has slipped $2.40 to $US1,087 an ounce for the December contract on Comex. Silver is up 3 cents to $14.54 for September. Copper is up 1 cent to $2.35 a pound. Oil has advanced $0.82 to US$45.99 a barrel for September light crude in New York.