Outlook: Aus shares set to open sharply lower

Market Reports

The local sharemarket has a negative lead from US markets which slipped sharply lower on the back of concern about upcoming bank profits. 
 
US stocks have now returned to negative numbers for the year with the sell-off in banks sending shares in some lenders as much as 23 per cent down for the year. 
 
US economic news

Fewer Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week with jobless claims dropping by 9,000 to 267,000 for the week ending April 2.

Markets

Wall Street closed lower yesterday: The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost nearly one per cent to close at 17,542, the S&P 500 lost 1.2 per cent to close at 2,042 and the NASDAQ lost 1.5 per cent to close at 4,848.
 
European markets closed lower: London’s FTSE shed 0.4 per cent, Paris lost 0.9 per cent and Frankfurt slipped almost one per cent.
 
Asian markets closed mixed: Tokyo’s Nikkei added 0.2 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rose 0.3 per cent, and China’s Shanghai Composite slipped 1.4 per cent.
 
The Australian share market closed higher yesterday: The S&P/ASX 200 Index closed 18 points up to finish at 4,964. On the futures market the SPI is 47 points down. 
 
Currencies

The Australian Dollar at 7:20AM was buying 75.07 US cents, 53.42 Pence Sterling, 81.17 Yen and 65.99 Euro cents.
 
Company news
 
Tassal Group Limited (ASX:TGR) says it will withdraw tenders to supply fresh salmon to Coles after a warmer summer has impacted growing conditions for short term supply of the fish. The company will instead focus on generating sustainable returns. Shares in Tassal Group closed 6.82 per cent lower at $3.55 yesterday. 
 
Aurelia Metals Limited (ASX:AMI) says court proceedings between it and Glencore have now been dismissed by the NSW Supreme Court in accordance with the funding arrangements agreed late last year. The appointment of voluntary administrators to Aurelia is also to be taken as never having occurred.  Shares in Aurelia Metals closed 7.46 per cent lower at $0.062. 
 
Ex-dividends

Two companies are going ex-dividend today: Aberdeen Leaders (ASX:ALR) will pay one cent fully franked and AUB Group Limited (ASX:AUB) will pay 12 cents fully franked. 
 
Commodities

Gold has surged $13.70 to US$1,238 an ounce for the June contract on Comex. Silver has added 10 cents to $15.16 for May. Copper has slipped 7 cents to $2.08 a pound. Oil has dipped 49 cents to $37.26 a barrel for May light crude in New York.

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