Outlook: Aus shares set to open higher

Market Reports

Following positive leads, the Australian share market looks set to open higher as a rally in oil prices spurred on momentum ahead of the hotly anticipated US FOMC meeting. Investors will be eyeing Ten Network Holdings, Metgasco and Dulux Group today as they each hold their AGMs.  
 
The US Consumer Price Index rose 0.2 percent in November. Data released by the Labor Department showed it was the third straight month of a 0.2 percent lift in core CPI. Meanwhile home builder confidence fell to 61 in December from 62 the month before. 

Markets

Wall Street closed up yesterday: The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.9 per cent to close at 17,525, the S&P 500 added 1.1 per cent to close at 2,043 and the NASDAQ gained 0.9 per cent to close at 4,995.
 
European markets closed up: London’s FTSE gained 2.45 per cent, Paris gained 3.2 per cent and Frankfurt gained 3.1 per cent.
 
Asian markets closed lower: Tokyo’s Nikkei lost 1.7 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng lost 0.2 per cent, and China’s Shanghai Composite lost 0.3 per cent.
 
The Australian share market closed lower yesterday: The S&P/ASX 200 Index closed 19 points down to finish at 4,910. On the futures market the SPI is 53 points up. 

Currencies
 
The Australian Dollar at 8:20AM was buying $US0.7198 cents, 47.87 Pence Sterling, 87.59 Yen and 65.86 Euro cents.

Economic news
 
RBA assistant governor for financial markets Guy Debelle is due to speak in Sydney this morning. Meanwhile the Westpac-Melbourne Institute leading index of market activity is also scheduled for release.

Company news
 
Paladin Energy Limited (ASX:PDN) has announced the repurchase of the principal amount of US$6 million of its outstanding US$243 million 6 per cent convertible bonds due 2017. Paladin Energy funded the repurchase out of operating cashflow. Shares in Paladin Energy closed 7.14 per cent up yesterday at $0.22.  
 
Newly listed company Temple & Webster Group (ASX:TPW) has completed the acquisition of the Milan Direct business. The group now consists of three online-only brands. The company said the integration of Milan Direct with the group’s ZIZO and Temple & Webster brands is progressing according to plan. Shares in Temple & Webster closed flat yesterday at $.85.  

Ex-dividends
 
1 company is going ex-dividend today: G8 Education will pay a dividend of 6c fully franked.

Commodities
 
Gold has lost $3.00 to $US1,060 an ounce for the February contract on Comex.
Silver has gained $0.05 to $13.75 for March.
Copper has lost $0.06 to $2.05 a pound.
Oil has gained $0.47 to $US38.07 a barrel for January light crude in New York.