Outlook: Aus shares set to open higher

Market Reports

Following positive overseas leads the Australian sharemarket looks set to open higher following better-than-expected jobs read out of the US on Friday. Meanwhile shares in the energy space felt the pinch as oil prices shifted downwards once more. 
 
US Non-farm payrolls increased 215,000 and the unemployment rate rose to 5 percent from 4.9 percent a month earlier. Meanwhile wages rebounded. 

Markets
 
Wall Street closed up on Friday: The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.6 per cent to close at 17,793, the S&P 500 added 0.6 per cent to close at 2,073 and the NASDAQ gained almost 1 per cent to close at 4,915.
 
European markets closed lower: London’s FTSE lost 0.5 per cent, Paris lost 1.4 per cent and Frankfurt lost 1.7 per cent.
 
Asian markets closed mixed: Tokyo’s Nikkei lost 3.6 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 1.3 per cent, and China’s Shanghai Composite added 0.2 per cent.
 
The Australian share market closed lower on Friday: The S&P/ASX 200 Index closed 83 points down to finish at 4,999, down 85 points on the week. On the futures market the SPI is 23 points up. 

Currencies
 
The Australian Dollar at 7:30AM was buying $US0.7676 cents, 53.98 Pence Sterling, 85.72 Yen and 67.36 Euro cents.

Economic news
 
Due out today from the Australian Bureau of Statistics is Building Approvals data for February. Eco-watchers will also be getting a pulse check on the retail space with Retail Sales numbers for February also due out this morning. 
 
Company news
 
Transurban Group Limited’s (ASX:TCL) Transurban Queensland has reached financial close on the acquisition of AirportlinkM7 for $1.87 billion, plus stamp duty of $108 million and transaction costs of $23 million. Transurban CEO Scott Charlton said the acquisition of AirportlinkM7 enhances Transurban Queensland’s network position in Brisbane. Shares in Transurban closed 1.67 per cent lower yesterday at $11.16.
 
Ramelius Resources Limited (ASX:RMS) has advised it intends to withdraw from the Condobolin joint venture project with Clancy Exploration Limited (ASX:CLY). Ramelius was earning 80 percent of the Condobolin project by funding $2 million for exploration over four years. Ownership will now revert 100 percent to Clancy as the company seeks a new partner for the project. Shares in Ramelius Resources closed 1.32 per cent up yesterday at $0.385. 

Ex-dividends
 
1 company is going ex-dividend today: Gowing will pay a dividend of 6 cents fully franked. 

Commodities
 
Gold has lost $12.10 to $US1,224 an ounce for the June contract on Comex.
Silver has lost $0.42 to $15.05 for May.
Copper has lost $0.02 to $2.16 a pound.
Oil has lost $1.55 to $US36.79 a barrel for May light crude in New York.