The Australian share market looks set to retreat after global markets fell in response to a European Central Bank (ECB) meeting. The ECB’s president Mario Draghi disappointed after failing to announce concrete plans to tackle the region’s debt crisis, one week after announcing the bank would do whatever it takes to preserve the euro.
US economic news
The Labor Department has advised that people filing initial unemployment claims increased in line with expectations, lifting 8,000 to 365,000 last week.
Challenger, Gray & Christmas has reported planned job cuts dropped to a 15 month low, dipping 45 per cent last month.
The Census Bureau has reported America’s factory orders came in less than expected, easing 0.5 per cent in June.
Wall Street fell on Thursday: The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 92 points to close at 12,879, the S&P500 lost 10 points to close at 1,365 and the Nasdaq lost 10 points to close at 2,910.
European markets also dropped yesterday: London’s FTSE lost 51 points, Paris lost 89 points and Frankfurt lost 148 points.
Asian markets closed mixed on Thursday: Hong Kong’s Hang Seng lost 130 points, Tokyo’s Nikkei added 11 and China’s Shanghai Composite lost 12 points.
The Australian share market finished almost where it started on Thursday: The S&P/ASX 200 Index firmed 7 points to finish at 4,270. On the futures market the SPI is 28 points lower.
The Australian Dollar at 7:15AM was buying $US1.047 cents, 67.48 Pence Sterling, 81.88 Yen and 85.93 Euro cents.
Economic news due out today
Australian Industry Group and Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA): Performance of Services Index
Stocks to watch
Tatts Group Limited (ASX:TTS) is expecting to achieve a higher profit in the 2012 financial year. The gaming company advised after the market closed it expects to generate a profit of between $315 million and $320 million, compared to $275 million last year. Tatts will release its full year results on August 23, 2012. Shares in Tatts Group closed steady on Thursday at $2.84.
After slumping to yesterday’s worst performer in the top 200, Aquarius Platinum Limited (ASX:AQP) has advised the situation at its Kwezi shaft in South Africa has calmed. The metals producer said yesterday it had been forced to shut down its Kwezi shaft after an incident which resulted in three deaths and 20 injuries. Aquarius advised later in the day production has now resumed, with the loss of production from the incident expected to be 2,800 tonnes. Shares in Aquarius Platinum slumped 13.16 per cent on Thursday, finishing at $0.495.
Djerriwarrh Investments Limited (ASX:DJW)
Eldorado Gold Corporation (ASX:EAU)
Greencap Limited (ASX:GCG)
Gold is up $0.10 to $US1,590 an ounce for the August contract on Comex.
Silver is up $0.105 to $27.10 for September.
Copper is up $0.01 at $3.30 a pound.
Oil is down $1.78 at US$87.31 a barrel for September light crude in New York.