Outlook: Stimulus hopes look to lift ASX

Market Reports

The Australian share market looks to lift this morning on the back of positive leads and hopes for global stimulus measures. Attention will be fixed on Europe ahead of ruling on bailout funds from Germany's Constitutional Court on Wednesday and ahead of a US Central Bank two-day monetary policy meeting. 
 
US economic news

America’s trade deficit grew moderately in July: The Census Bureau has reported America’s trade balance widened to $US42 billion in July, as exports dropped 1 per cent and imports eased 0.8 per cent. 
 
Figures

Wall Street closed higher on Tuesday: The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 69 points to close at 13,323, the S&P500 lifted 4 points to close at 1,434 and the Nasdaq firmed 1 point to close at 3,105.
 
European markets ended mixed on Tuesday: London’s FTSE eased 1 point, Paris added 31 points and Frankfurt added 96 points.
 
Asian markets also finished mixed on Tuesday: Hong Kong’s Hang Seng added 31 points, Tokyo’s Nikkei lost 62 and China’s Shanghai Composite lost 14 points.
 
The Australian share market snapped a three day winning streak on Tuesday, easing 0.2 per cent: The S&P/ASX 200 Index closed 8 points lower at 4,326. On the futures market the SPI is 18 points higher. 
 
Currencies

The Australian Dollar at 7:20AM was buying $US1.043 cents, 64.94 Pence Sterling, 81.14 Yen and 81.2 Euro cents.
 
Economic news due out today

Australian Bureau of Statistics: Dwelling unit commencements for the June quarter

Westpac Banking Corporation (ASX:WBC)-Melbourne Institute: Survey of consumer sentiment
 
Company news

Virgin Australia Holdings Limited's (ASX:VAH) latest traffic figures have revealed an increase in passenger numbers and yields in the first two months of the current financial year. Australia’s second largest carrier has seen a 2.3 per cent rise in domestic traffic in fiscal 2013 compared to its rival Qantas Airways Limited (ASX:QAN) who posted a 1.4 per cent drop in July Qantas domestic and QantasLink passenger numbers. Shares in Virgin Australia Holdings lifted 1.2 per cent yesterday, closing at $0.42. 
 
Shares in Guildford Coal Limited (ASX:GUF) gained yesterday after the coal explorer said its 75 per cent-owned subsidiary Terra Energy will start mining on the North Pit at its South Gobi Project in Mongolia this month. Guildford Coal expects first coal production in late November and has forecast first year production will be excess of 3 million tonnes. Shares in Guildford Coal gained 14.93 per cent on Tuesday to finish at $0.385. 
 
Ex-dividends today

Equity Trustees Limited (ASX:EQT) with a 45 cent fully franked dividend
Independence Group NL (ASX:IGO) with a 1 cent fully franked dividend

Ex-dividends tomorrow

Devine Limited (ASX:DVN) with a 2 cent fully franked dividend
Transfield Services Limited (ASX:TSE) with a 9 cent unfranked dividend
 
Commodities

Gold is up $3.10 to $US1,735 an ounce for the December contract on Comex.
Silver is down $0.07 to $33.57 for December.
Copper is up $0.01 at $3.70 a pound.
Oil is up $0.63 at $US97.17 a barrel for October light crude in New York.