Outlook: Aus shares set to open steady

Market Reports

After yesterday hitting through 5,000 the Australian share market looks set for a steady start following mixed offshore leads. As no major economic news is scheduled attention will remain on earnings results - today expected from companies including Rio Tinto Limited (ASX:RIO), Wesfarmers Limited (ASX:WES) and David Jones Limited (ASX:DJS)
 
Figures

Wall Street closed mixed yesterday: The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 36 points to close at 13,983, the S&P 500 added only 1 point to close at 1,520 and the NASDAQ gained 10 points to close at 3,197
 
European markets closed mixed: London’s FTSE added 21 points, Paris put on 12 points and Frankfurt gained 52 points.
 
Across Asian markets: China’s Shanghai Composite was closed for the Lunar New Year while Japan's Nikkei lost 118 points and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng added 38 points. 
 
The Australian share market broke through the 5,000 barrier for the first time since 2010: The S&P/ASX 200 index advanced 45 points to finish at 5,004 on Wednesday. On the futures market the SPI is 2 points higher. 
 
Currencies

The Australian Dollar at 8:45 AM was buying $US1.035 cents, 66.60 Pence Sterling, 96.73 Yen and 76.99 Euro cents.
 
Economic news due out today

Melbourne Institute: Consumer inflation expectations for February
 
Company news

Shares in Goodman Fielder Limited (ASX:GFF) dipped yesterday as investors were disappointed by the food producers 9 per cent slide in first half sales and 17 per cent slump in earnings. Shares in Goodman Feilder closed 4.86 per cent lower yesterday at 68.5 cents.

Shares in Carsales.com Limited (ASX:CRZ) slipped yesterday, despite posting a 14 per cent rise in its first half net profit. The online classified company says its operations performed well across the board and expects its full year revenue to be well ahead of last year’s result.  Shares in Carsales.com closed 4.55 per cent lower yesterday at $8.40. 
 
Ex-dividends today

GUD Holdings Limited (ASX:GUD) with a 36 cent fully franked dividend
Milton Corporation Limited (ASX:MLT) with a 39 cent fully franked dividend
 
Ex-dividends tomorrow

JB Hi-Fi Limited (ASX:JBH) with a 50 cent fully franked dividend

Commodities

Gold is down $4.50 to $US1,645 an ounce for the April contract on Comex.
Silver is down $0.15 to $30.87 for March.
Copper is down $0.002 at $3.74 a pound.
Oil is down $0.50 at US$97 a barrel for March light crude in New York.