The Australian share market will spend the last trading day of the financial year eyeing developments from the European Union summit. Overnight Wall Street took a dive early in the session after a US Supreme Court ruling upheld President Obama's health care reform laws, fueling concern higher health care costs could hinder economic growth. US stocks clawed back from session lows amid reports EU leaders were nearing a deal on a new €120 billion ‘growth pact’. On the home front no local economic news is scheduled with investors awaiting a series of economic reports due from China.
Wall Street recovered from steeper losses but still closed in the red on Thursday: The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 25 points to close at 12,602, the S&P500 lost 3 points to close at 1,329 and the Nasdaq lost 26 points to close at 2,849.
European markets also lost ground on Thursday: London’s FTSE lost 31 points, Paris lost 11 points and Frankfurt lost 79 points.
Asian markets ended mixed on Thursday: Hong Kong’s Hang Seng lost 152 points, Tokyo’s Nikkei added 144 and China’s Shanghai Composite lost 21 points.
The Australian share market ended yesterday’s session almost where it began. On Thursday the S&P/ASX 200 index closed just 2 points higher at 4,045. On the futures market the SPI is now 8 points lower.
The Australian Dollar at 7:20AM was buying $US1.005 cents, 64.76 Pence Sterling, 79.85 Yen and 80.75 Euro cents.
Best performing mining stocks
Shares in Stanmore Coal Limited (ASX:SMR) gained yesterday after the coal explorer secured $36 million through a placement and cooperation agreement with Hong Kong-based private equity fund Sprint Capital. Stanmore Coal says the capital will enable the company to satisfy its infrastructure capacity commitments with a conservative debt level and reinforces the development path of its existing coal projects. When the transaction is complete Sprint Capital will hold a 25 per cent stake in Stanmore Coal. Shares in Stanmore Coal gained 6.94 per cent on Thursday, closing at $0.385.
Shares in Sovereign Gold Co Limited (ASX:SOC) jumped more than 15 per cent yesterday after the Australian focussed explorer confirmed large gold system potential. Sovereign Gold says the latest data reveals the existence of numerous potential gold-bearing targets for assessment and possible drilling that will be detailed in the coming weeks. Shares in Sovereign Gold jumped 16.67 per cent on Thursday, finishing at $0.28.
Ex-dividends on Monday
GrainCorp Limited (ASX:GNC)
Programmed Maintenance Services Limited (ASX:PRG)
Gold is down $28.00 to $US1,550 an ounce for the August contract on Comex.
Silver is down $0.70 to $26.25 for July.
Copper is down $0.02 at $3.35 a pound.
Oil is down $2.52 at $US77.69 a barrel for August light crude in New York.