After advancing 1.5 per cent last week the Australian share market is poised to extend gains today. The SPI is pointing to a positive start despite the absence of a lead from Wall Street with US markets closed on Friday for the Independence Day public holiday. Asian and European markets posted a soft end to last week while commodity markets have seen gold firm and iron ore trade steady. In the week ahead Australian investors will get a business survey tomorrow and consumer confidence index Wednesday ahead of official jobs numbers on Thursday.
Ahead of the Fourth of July holiday Wall Street hit new records on Thursday: The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose above 17,000 for the first time, the S&P 500 hit 1,985, and the NASDAQ lifted to 4,486.
European markets ended the trading week mixed on Friday: London's FTSE 100 added 0.01 per cent, France's CAC 40 lost 0.5 per cent and Germany's DAX lost 0.2 per cent.
Asian markets also finished the trading week mixed on Friday: Japan’s Nikkei added 0.6 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng added 0.06 per cent, and China’s Shanghai Composite lost 0.2 per cent.
The Australian share market ended the first trading week of fiscal 2015 on a high note with a 0.6 per cent gain on Friday. The S&P/ASX 200 index rose 34 points on Friday, widening the weekly gain of 80 points to close at 5,525. On the futures market the SPI is pointing 13 points higher.
After losing $0.007 last week the Australian dollar at 7:20am was buying $US0.9363, 54.56 Pence Sterling, 95.57 Yen and 68.88 Euro cents.
Economic news due out today
ANZ Banking Group (ASX:ANZ)
: Job advertisements series for June
Australian Industry Group: Construction PMI
Aquila Resources Limited’s (ASX:AQA)
suitors have boosted their stake in the junior iron ore and coal miner to 81 per cent. Chinese giant Baosteel and coal haulage company Aurizon Holdings Limited (ASX:AZJ)
have declared their $1.4 billion takeover unconditional and extended the offer to July 25. Aquila received the offer of $3.40 cash per share at the beginning of May which is poised to see Aurizon take a 15 per cent stake and Baosteel move to majority ownership with 85 per cent. Shares in Aquila Resources slipped 0.29 per cent on Friday to end the week at $3.39.
Pharmaxis Limited (ASX:PXS)
is set to provide an update on its funding position on or before tomorrow. The pharmaceutical company told the market last week it has received a letter from its financier which requires consideration, advice and possibly further talks with the financier. The news comes after Pharmaxis launched a review and initiated cost cutting measures in October 2013 while also asking its financier for an extra funds. Shares in Pharmaxis have shed about 50 per cent over the last year and last traded at $0.077 before entering into a trading halt on Friday.
After lifting over last week the price of gold has added $0.70 to $US1,321 an ounce for the August contract on Comex.
Silver has slipped $0.025 to $21.18 for September.
Copper has dipped $0.01 to $3.27 a pound.
Oil has lost $0.42 to $US104.06 a barrel for August light crude in New York.