Australian stocks look to follow offshore leads lower this morning. European markets dropped amid ongoing fiscal concerns in the region at the end of last week. Wall Street ended lower following a disappointing jobs report but US stocks pared earlier losses amid speculation the worse than expected jobs numbers could fuel America’s central bank to stimulate the economy.
US economic news
America’s economy added less jobs than expected last month: The Labor Department reported the US economy added 80,000 jobs in June, down from expectations of gaining up to 95,000 jobs. The US unemployment rate remained unchanged at 8.2 per cent.
After a holiday shortened week Wall Street fell on Friday: On its last trading day of the week, the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 124 points to close at 12,772, the S&P500 dropped 13 points to close at 1,355 and the Nasdaq dropped 39 points to close at 2,937.
European markets also retreated at the end of last week: London’s FTSE lost 30, Paris lost 61 and Frankfurt lost 125 points.
Asian markets closed mixed on Friday: Hong Kong’s Hang Seng lost 8, Tokyo’s Nikkei was down 59 and China’s Shanghai Composite added 22 points.
The Australian share market traded in negative territory on Friday, shedding 0.3 per cent by session’s end. The S&P/ASX 200 index lost 11 points on Friday but gained 63 points over the week to end at 4,158. On the futures market the SPI is now 14 points lower.
The Australian Dollar at 7:15AM was buying $US1.0198 cents, 65.88 Pence Sterling, 81.25 Yen and 83.13 Euro cents.
Economic news out today
ANZ Banking Group (ASX:ANZ): Job advertisements series for June
Shares in Billabong International Limited (ASX:BBG) jumped to Friday’s best performer in the top 200, one day after Macquarie Group Limited (ASX:MQG) revealed it had bought a 5.8 per cent interest in the surfwear retailer. According to Bloomberg Australia’s largest investment bank accounted for 26.3 per cent of Billabong buying on Friday. Fairfax Media speculates Macquarie was buying on behalf of a possible suitor and not trading on behalf on a strategic investor. Shares in Billabong International jumped 12.5 per cent on Friday, finishing the week at $1.17.
Shares in junior mineral explorer Forte Energy NL (ASX:FTE) closed more than 20 per cent higher after posting a 68 per cent increase in its Firawa uranium resource in Guinea at the end of last week. The Australian and Africa focused miner says the latest upgrade represents a 60 per cent increase in the Firawa Project’s total JORC compliant resources over the past year. Shares in Forte Energy soared 22.22 per cent on Friday, ending the week at $0.022.
Collins Foods Limited (ASX:CKF) with a 6.5 cent fully franked dividend
Dragon Mountain Gold Limited (ASX:DMG) with a 44.97 cent unfranked dividend
TTA Holdings Limited (ASX:TTA) with a 0.4 cent fully franked dividend
Norfolk Group Limited (ASX:NFK) with a 2 cent unfranked dividend
Gold is down $27.20 to $US1,579 an ounce for the August contract on Comex.
Silver is down $0.75 to $26.92 for September.
Copper is down $0.08 at $3.41 a pound for September.
Oil is down $2.77 at $84.45 a barrel for August light crude in New York.