Outlook: Aus shares set to open higher

Market Reports

The Australian sharemarket is set to open in positive territory, following encouraging leads from US equities. Wall Street rebounded sharply following a surge in crude oil prices and solid US corporate results.
 
Consumer confidence came in stronger than expected in January. Data released by the US Conference Board showed the monthly index at 98.1 versus a flat expectation of 96.5
 
Markets

Wall Street closed up yesterday: The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 1.8 per cent to close at 16,167, the S&P 500 added 1.4 per cent to close at 1,904 and the NASDAQ gained 1.1 per cent to close at 4,568.
 
European markets closed up: London’s FTSE gained 0.6 per cent, Paris gained 1 per cent and Frankfurt gained 0.9 per cent.
 
Asian markets closed lower: Tokyo’s Nikkei lost 2.4 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 2.5 per cent, and China’s Shanghai Composite lost 6.4 per cent.
 
The Australian share market was closed yesterday: The S&P/ASX 200 Index last traded at 5,007. On the futures market the SPI is 54 points up. 

Currencies
 
The Australian Dollar at 8:30AM was buying $US0.7009 cents, 48.85 Pence Sterling, 83.02 Yen and 64.55 Euro cents.

Economic news
 
Due out today from the Australian Bureau of Statistics is consumer price index data for the December quarter. Economists are estimating a 0.3 percent rise in the three months to the end of December. 
 
Company news
 
OceanaGold Corporation Limited (ASX:OGC) exceeded its 2015 consolidated gold production guidance range with 419,153 ounces produced, according to its fourth quarter 2015 production report for the year ended 31 December 2015. The company also achieved copper production guidance range with 23,109 tonnes produced. Shares in OceanaGold last traded at $2.64.  
 
Asciano Limited (ASX:AIO) has a new substantial shareholder in the form of China Investment Corporation and its controlled entities. Reportedly the world’s fourth-largest sovereign wealth fund, CIC now owns voting power of 19.99 percent in Asciano. Shares in Asciano last traded at $8.51.  

Ex-dividends
 
1 company is going ex-dividend today: Aurora Dividend Income Trust will pay 0.4c 94.87 percent franked.

Commodities

Gold has gained $16 to $US1,121.60 an ounce for the February contract on Comex.
Silver has gained $0.27 to $14.52 for March.
Copper has gained $0.04 to $2.04 a pound.
Oil has gained $0.25 to $US30.59 a barrel for light crude in New York.