The Australian share market is set for a quiet start to the week after lacklustre sessions on European and US markets and ahead of the RBA cash rate announcement tomorrow.
Wall Street made small gains but closed at record highs, despite disappointing jobs data.
US economic data
The US economy added 162,000 jobs in July, marking the slowest month for hiring since March.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 30 points to close at 15,658, the S&P500 lifted 3 points to close at 1,710 and the Nasdaq pushed 14 points higher to close at 3,690.
European markets were mixed: London’s FTSE lost 34 points, Paris gained 3 points and Frankfurt dropped 4 points.
Asian traders were upbeat: Tokyo stocks surged 3.29 per cent on the back of solid earnings results, and confidence about the global stimulus outlook. The Nikkei added 460 points, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng added 102 points, and China’s Shanghai Composite was flat.
The Australian share market hit its highest point in over two months on Friday. The S&P/ASX 200 climbed 55 points, adding to the weekly gain of 66 points to finish at 5,117. On the futures market the SPI is 9 points up.
The Australian dollar moved slightly higher as traders wait for tomorrow’s RBA decision. At 7:30AM the Aussie was buying $US89.12 cents, 58.32 Pence Sterling, 88.26 Yen and 67.12 Euro cents.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics will release its retail trade data for June, the Australian Industry Group and CBA will put out the Performance of Services Index for July and TD Securities and the Melbourne Institute will release their inflation gauge for July.
Argo Investments Limited (ASX:ARG)
will release its full year results today as we get our first look at earnings season for the 2013 financial year. The listed investment company has a market capitalisation of $4.2 billion and holds a broad portfolio of 103 stocks. Shares in Argo lifted 1.02 per cent on Friday to close at $6.95.
Australian Agricultural Company Limited (ASX:AAC)
has confirmed speculation it is considering a capital raising share issue to fund the planned future expansion of its beef export business, according to media reports. AACo’s chairman says the cattle group will release a statement to the market this morning which confirms a share issue is being considered, saying discussions with financial institutions have already taken place. Shares in AACo dropped 2.11 per cent on Friday to $1.16.
Gold is down $1 to $US1,310.50 an ounce for the December contract on Comex. Silver is up $0.29 to $19.91 for September. Copper is up $0.03 at $3.17 a pound. Oil is down $0.95 at US$106.94 a barrel for September light crude in New York.