The Australian sharemarket is expected to open lower today after very weak leads from Wall Street and a lower SPI.
US economic news
Today is a labor Day public holiday so markets are closed, however stocks fell two per cent on Friday after data showed zero jobs growth in August.
At the end of last week the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 253 points to close at 11,240, the S&P500 lost 30 points to 1,174 and the NASDAQ lost 66 points to close at 2,480.
European stocks finished lower on Friday. London’s FTSE closed 127 points weaker, Paris was down 117 and Frankfurt was down 192 points.
Asian markets closed lower. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng closed 372 lower, Tokyo Nikkei was down 110 and China’s Shanghai Composite lost 28 points.
At the end of the last week, the Australian share market finished lower. On Friday the S&P/ASX200 Index lost 65 points, to close at 4,243. On the futures market the SPI is currently 63 points lower.
The Australian Dollar at 7:30am was buying $1.0.618 US cents, 65.72 Pence Sterling, 81.65 Yen and 74.94 Euro cents.
Due out today are the Bureau of Statistics business indicators for the June quarter; the ANZ job advertisements series for August; the Australian Industry Group/Commonwealth Bank Australian Performance of Services Index for August; the TD Securities - Melbourne Institute inflation gauge for August; and the Rabobank Rural Confidence Survey.
Shares in Sandfire Resources (ASX:SFR) last traded down 3.6 per cent at $7.23. The company’s managing director has told media that Sandfire’s $360 million finance facility is still on track for completion, despite turmoil in global markets. Karl Simich said the past year has involved commercial development for the company, and its now set to roll out exploration projects in the coming year. A recent high volume of trade in shares was the result of an institutional shareholder in the US selling down some of its stake. In the first half of its 2011 financial year, Sandfire Resources reported a net loss of $35.2 million.
On Friday shares in Woolworths Limited (ASX:WOW) lost 0.98 per cent to close at $25.25. The company is aiming to double sales from hardware wholesaling, and as a part of that plan, is gearing up to buy out small independent hardware stores. The new head of Home Timber and Hardware Mark Burrowes, who used to head up Mitre 10, told Fairfax Media there’s a big succession problem in the independent sector which incidentally fits Woolworths’ network plan. In the six months to June 30, Woolworths Limited (ASX:WOW) reported a net gain of $2.1 billion.
Gold is up $46.40 to $US1,876 an ounce, silver is up $1.54 to $43.07, and copper is down 4 cents at $4.12 a pound for the December contract on Comex. Oil is down $2.48 at $86.45 a barrel for October light crude in New York.
Companies going ex-dividend today are: AIZ, Air New Zealand, AMP, AMP Limited, ANG, Austin Engineering, AQP, Aquarius Platinum, ARA, Ariadne, BFG, Bell Financial Group, BHP, BHP Billiton, BLY, Boart Longyear, BPT, Beach Energy, CGR, Careers Multilist, CMG, Chandler Macleod Group, CNI, Centuria Capital, CTN, Contango Microcap, CVW, Clearview Wealth, ELI, Emerging Leaders Investment, FMG, Fortescue Metals, GPG, Guinness Peat Group, HSN, Hansen Technologies, ILU, Iluka Resources, ISS, ISS Group, JIN, Jumbo Interactive, KNH, Koon Holdings, MCP, McPherson's, MLD, Maca, MND, Monadelphous, MY,S Mystate, OST, OneSteel, PAG, PrimeAg Australia, PAN, Panoramic Resources, PHI, Phileo Australia, PLB, Plan B Group Holdings, PRT, Prime Media Group, RIC, Ridley Corp, ROK, The Rock Building Society, SFC, Schaffer Corporation, SHR, John Shearer, SIV, Silver Chef, SKT, Sky Network TV, SLM, Salmat, SNL, Supply Network, SWM, Seven West Media, TAG, Tag Pacific, WWM, Wentworth Holdings.