Outlook: Aus shares look to open lower

Market Reports

The Australian market looks set for a lower start after US stocks slipped amid a deadlock on debt talks and mixed earnings reports. At home eyes will be on our reporting season, inflation numbers due out today, and, the rising Australian dollar nudging $US1.10.

US economic news

S&P Case Shiller’s 20-city home price index added 1 per cent in May from the month before, but was down 4.5 per cent in May compared to the year before.

The Census Bureau reported that new home sales fell more than expected to an annual sales rate of 312,000 in June.

The Conference Board's consumer confidence index increased more than expected, producing a read of 59.5 in July from 57.6 in June.

Figures

On Tuesday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 92 points to close at 12,501, the S&P500 eased 5 points to close at 1,332 and the NASDAQ dipped 3 points to close at 2,840.

European stocks closed mixed: London’s FTSE up 4 points, Paris down 25 and Frankfurt was up 5 points. 

To Asian markets, stocks were higher: Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was up 279, Tokyo Nikkei was up 48 and China’s Shanghai Composite was up 14 points.
 
The Australian share market rose 0.947 per cent on Tuesday: The S&P/ASX 200 Index added 43 points to close at 4,573. On the futures market the SPI is 16 points lower.
 
Currencies

The Australian Dollar at 7:30AM was buying $1.0955 US cents, 66.73 Pence Sterling, 85.38 Yen and 75.5 Euro cents.

Economic news

The Australian Bureau of Statistics Consumer Price Index for the June quarter.

Company news

Yesterday shares in Ausdrill Limited (ASX:ASL) closed at $3.42 after advancing 8.57 per cent and jumping to the best performer in the S&P/ASX200. The mining services company announced at the beginning of the week that it had scored a $75 million contract from long term client, Fortescue Metals Group Limited (ASX: FMG). Under the three year contract, to start in October, Ausdrill will provide drilling at Fortescue’s Solomon iron ore project in the Pilbara region of Western Australia. In the first half of its 2011 financial year, Ausdrill generated a net profit of $36.4 million.

On Tuesday shares in Alesco Corporation Ltd (ASX:ALS) gained 5.58 per cent, closing at $2.84. That was after the building products company posted a full year net profit of $13.6 million, rebounding from a loss of $124 million the year before. The company’s fiscal 2010 result was impacted by writedowns on its loss-making water products business. However, in fiscal 2011 Alesco sold the water division and its Marathon Tyres business for a total of $43 million. The company says it has now completed the first year of a two to three year program to improve its operations. In the first half of its 2011 financial year, Alesco Corporation reported a net profit of $1.8 million.

Commodities

Gold is up $4.60 to $US1,616 an ounce for the August contract on Comex, silver is up $0.34 to $40.70 for September and copper is up $0.07 at $4.48 a pound. Oil is up $0.39 at $99.59 a barrel for September light crude in New York. 


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