Outlook: Aus shares set to open slightly higher

Market Reports

Despite weak leads from US and Asian markets the Australian share market looks set to open slightly higher. A disappointing result from retail giant Wal-Mart in the US proved to be the biggest drag on the Dow. Chinese shares also tumbled 6 per cent as the Yuan continued to lose ground against the dollar. 

Global markets

Wall Street closed lower yesterday: The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 0.2 per cent to close at 17,511, the S&P 500 lost 0.3 per cent to close at 2,097 and the NASDAQ retreated 0.6 per cent to close at 5,059.
 
European markets closed lower: London’s FTSE lost 0.4 per cent, Paris lost 0.3 per cent and Frankfurt slid 0.2 per cent.
 
Asian markets closed lower: Tokyo’s Nikkei lost 0.3 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng slid 1.4 per cent, and China’s Shanghai Composite tumbled 6 per cent.
 
The Australian share market closed lower yesterday: The S&P/ASX 200 Index lost 65 points to finish at 5,303. On the futures market the SPI is up 10. 

Currencies
 
The Australian Dollar at 7:20AM was buying 73.4 US cents, 46.88 Pence Sterling, 91.3 Yen and 66.57 Euro cents.

Economic news
 
The Department of Employment will release the Skilled Vacancies Index for the month of July, which provide some insights into the state of Australia’s job market.  

Company News
 
Challenger Limited (ASX:CGF) has announced assets under management are up 18 per cent to $59.8 billion at 30 June. The investment management giant recorded a normalized net profit after tax of $334 million for the period. Shares in Challenger Limited closed up 2.46 per cent at $7.08.
 
News Corp Australia (ASX:NWS) in conjunction with its subsidiary Fox Sports Australia has announced it has secured a six year deal with the AFL for seasons 2017 to 2022.The rights deal ensures Fox Footy will deliver every game of every round, excluding the Grand Final. Shares in News Corp Australia closed up 1.78 per cent at $20.56.  
 
Ex-dividends

Two companies are going ex-dividend today: Genworth Mortgage Insurance Australia (ASX:GMA) will pay a dividend of 31 cents fully franked, Korvest Limited (ASX:KOV) will pay a dividend of 12 cents fully franked. 
 
Commodities

Gold has lost $1.40 to $US1,117 an ounce for the December contract on Comex.
Silver has lost 47 cents to $14.88 for September.
Copper has slid 4 cents to $2.28 a pound.
Oil is up 45 cents to $US42.86 a barrel for September light crude in New York.