The Australian share market is tipped for a soft start amid a looming political battle over the debt ceiling in the US along with investor concerns the Federal Reserve will soon begin tapering its stimulus program.
But economists say the ASX may get a boost when purchasing managers' indexes are released in China today and in Europe and the US tonight, with the figures expected to show China is on the road to recovery.
As Wall Street dropped on Friday US time, so did the Australian dollar and the gold price. At 7:20AM the Aussie was buying $US93.7 cents, 58.56 Pence Sterling, 93 Yen and69.27 Euro cents.
Wall Street finished Friday’s session in the red: The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 185 points to close at 15,451, the S&P500 fell 12 points to close at 1,710 and the Nasdaq dropped 15 points to close at 3,775.
European markets paused ahead of the all-important general elections in Germany. Exit polls suggest German Chancellor Angela Merkel has won a third term in elections but her conservatives may be forced to govern in a grand coalition with the Social Democrats: London’s FTSE lost 29 points, Paris shed 2 points and Frankfurt fell 18 points.
Asian markets were mostly higher on the news the US Fed would maintain its stimulus efforts: Tokyo’s Nikkei shed 24, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rallied 385 points higher, and China’s Shanghai Composite lifted 6 points.
The Australian share market ended the week slightly lower after a buoyant week of gains fuelled by the US Federal Reserve’s surprise decision to maintain its economic stimulus program. The S&P/ASX 200 index lost 19 points on Friday, trimming the weekly gain of 54 points to finish at 5,277.On the futures market the SPI is 23 points down.
UGL Limited (ASX:UGL)
chief executive Richard Leupen says he hopes the split between the company’s engineering and property businesses will happen by June 2014, according to media reports. He told media that uncertainty about the timing of the split had been destabilizing for the company. Shares in UGL slipped about a quarter of a per cent (0.24 per cent) on Friday to $8.35.
Sydney Airport Holdings Limited (ASX:SYD)
visitors lifted by almost two-and-a-half per cent in August to 3.2 million, wuth strong growth in visitors from India, China and Malaysia. Chief executive Kerrie Mather says the start of direct flights between Sydney and Delhi contributed to the rise. Shares in Sydney Airport lifted 1.5 per cent on Friday to close at $4.06.
Gold is down $25.50 to $US1,332.50 an ounce for the December contract on Comex. Silver is down $1.37 to $21.93 for December. Copper is down $0.01 at $3.32 a pound. Oil is down $1.11 at US$104.75 a barrel for November light crude in New York.
Fletcher Building Limited (Australia)(ASX:FBU)