Outlook: Aus shares set to follow US higher

Market Reports

Following strong leads from Wall street, the Australian share market looks set to extend yesterday’s gains and open higher today.
 
Both the Dow Jones and the S&P 500 indexes rose to intraday highs overnight buoyed by the US Federal Reserve’s statement suggesting interest rates would stay low for a considerable time.
 
US home construction, however, slipped in August with activity down 14.4 per cent according to the Commerce Department. The figure came in worse than expected. 
 
Meanwhile a read on jobless claims from the US Labor Department was more positive showing jobless claims dropped last week.
 
Global figures

Wall Street closed up yesterday: The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.6 per cent to close at 17,266, the S&P 500 added 0.5 per cent to close at 2,011 and the NASDAQ gained 0.7 per cent to close at 4,593.
 
European markets closed up: London’s FTSE gained 0.6 per cent, Paris is up 0.8 per cent and Frankfurt is up 1.4 per cent.
 
Asian markets closed mixed: Tokyo’s Nikkei added 1.1 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 0.9 per cent, and China’s Shanghai Composite gained 0.4 per cent.
 
The Australian share market closed higher yesterday: The S&P/ASX 200 Index closed 9 points up to finish at 5,416. On the futures market the SPI is 28 points up. 
 
Turning to currencies and the Australian Dollar at 7:20AM was buying $US0.8990 cents, 54.65 Pence Sterling, 97.77 Yen and 69.61 Euro cents.
 
Company news
 
Shares in Acrux Limited (ASX:ACR) slipped more than 25 per cent yesterday on suggestions the US Food and Drug Administration was investigating the need for tighter controls on testosterone therapies. The company says the FDA found there is insufficient evidence that testosterone use leads to increased risk of cardiovascular events and that further studies over the next six months will offer broader results. Shares in Acrux have since been placed in a trading halt and last traded 26.04 per cent down at $1.25.
 
Ochre Group Holdings Limited (ASX:OGH) has extended its offer to takeover Gondwana Resources. The iron ore explorer made an off-market takeover bid for the company in June and will extend the offer period until 13 October. Shares in Ochre Group closed 4.76 per cent lower yesterday at $0.02
 
Commodities

Gold is down $9.00 to $US1,227 an ounce for the December contract on Comex.
Silver is down $0.21 to $18.52 for September.
Copper is down $0.05 at $3.09 a pound.
Oil is down $1.35 at US$93.07 a barrel for October light crude in New York.
 
Ex-dividends

Energy Developments Limited (ASX:ENE) is paying 28c, fully franked.