Outlook: Aus shares set to open higher

Market Reports

The Australian sharemarket looks set to open higher on this Tuesday. Wall Street squeezed out gains in what was a quiet trading day. US stocks traded sideways as investors show caution after five consecutive weeks of gains. Twitter slipped 0.4 percent, despite the social media giant celebrating its 10th birthday.
 
US existing home sales fell 7.1 percent in February. Data released by the National Association of Realtors fell much further than the 2.6 percent slip forecast.

Markets
 
Wall Street closed up yesterday: The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.1 per cent to close at 17,624, the S&P 500 added 0.1 per cent to close at 2,052 and the NASDAQ gained 0.3 per cent to close at 4,809.
 
European markets closed lower: London’s FTSE fell 0.1per cent, Paris lost 0.8 per cent and Frankfurt fell 0.02 per cent.
 
Asian markets closed mostly up: Tokyo’s Nikkei was closed, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 0.1 per cent, and China’s Shanghai Composite added 2.2 per cent.
 
The Australian share market closed lower yesterday: The S&P/ASX 200 Index closed 17 points down to finish at 5,167. On the futures market the SPI is 11 points up. 

Currencies

The Australian Dollar at 7:20AM was buying $US0.7582 cents, 52.76 Pence Sterling, 84.84 Yen and 67.45 Euro cents.

Economic news
 
Investors will be closely monitoring comments from Reserve Bank Governor Glenn Stevens when he takes to the lectern at a forum in Sydney later this afternoon..
 
Company news
 
Tabcorp Holdings Limited (ASX:TAH) has accepted Mr Elmer Funke Kupper’s request to be granted a leave of absence from the board. Mr Funke Kupper will remain absent from the board until the completion of an Australian Federal Police investigation in relation to a business opportunity in Cambodia in 2009/2010. Shares in Tabcorp Holdings closed 0.24 per cent up yesterday at $4.10.  
 
Medusa Mining Limited (ASX:MML) has welcomed Boyd Timler as Chief Executive Officer. The former COO of Beadell Resources will assist the company as it looks to grow operations in the Philippines. Shares in Medusa Mining closed 3.7 per cent up yesterday at $0.84

Ex-dividends
 
6 companies are going ex-dividend today including Cml Group, Crown Resorts, Estia Health, Gr Engineering, Northern Star and RXP Services.

Commodities
 
Gold has lost $10.10 to $US1,244 an ounce for the April contract on Comex.
Silver has gained $0.06 to $15.88 for May. Copper has gained $0.01 to $2.29 a pound for May.
Oil has gained $0.56 to $US41.70 a barrel for April light crude in New York.