Outlook: ASX looks lower amid weak leads

Market Reports

The SPI is pointing to a lower start for the Australian share market following weak leads. European markets slipped as the European Commission lowered its expectations for growth in the region. Wall Street’s major indexes mainly traded lower as depressed oil prices dragged on energy stocks. The local miners could be set for more pressure with metals prices also moving south overnight. 
 
Global markets
 
Wall Street put in another soft performance on Tuesday: The Dow Jones Industrial Average firmed 0.1 per cent to close at 17,384, the S&P 500 fell 0.3 per cent to close at 2,012 and the Nasdaq fell 0.3 per cent to close at 4,624.
 
European markets extended losses on Tuesday: London's FTSE 100 dropped 0.5 per cent, France's CAC 40 dropped 1.5 per cent and Germany's DAX dropped 0.9 per cent.
 
Asian markets closed mixed on Tuesady: Japan’s Nikkei climbed 2.7 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng eased 0.3 per cent, and China’s Shanghai Composite firmed 0.03 per cent.
 
The Australian share market spent most of Melbourne Cup day on positive territory and ended just slightly higher: The S&P/ASX 200 index closed 13 points higher at 5,520. On the futures market the SPI is 6 points lower. 
 
Currencies
 
The Australian dollar at 8am was buying $US0.8734, 54.62 Pence Sterling, 99.26 Yen and 69.64 Euro cents.
 
Economic news due out today 
 
Australian Industry Group: Performance of Services Index (PSI) for September
 
Company news
 
Australia’s biggest bank Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA) is expected to post growth in its quarterly cash profit today. Analysts have tipped the bank will deliver a first quarter cash profit of about $2.2 billion, up from a $2.1 billion profit the same time last year. The quarterly update will come after CBA’s cash profit soared 12 per cent to a record $8.7 billion over the 2014 financial year. Shares in Commonwealth Bank of Australia rose 0.31 per cent to close at $80.77 yesterday ahead of today’s results. 
 
Wotif.com Holdings Limited (ASX:WTF) proposed takeover by travel giant Expedia Inc (NASDAQ:EXPE) has cleared one of its last remaining hurdles. New Zealand’s Commerce Commission yesterday gave its green light ahead of a final hearing to be held at the Queensland Supreme Court this morning. Wotif has advised it expects its final day of ASX trading to occur tomorrow. Shares in Wotif.com Holdings gained 0.66 per cent to close at $3.03 yesterday ahead of the announcement. 
 
Ex-dividends

Alcoa Inc. (ASX:AAI) paying a 2.41 cent unfranked dividend 
 
Commodities 

Gold has dipped $2.10 to $US1,168 an ounce for the December contract on Comex. 
Silver has slipped $0.25 to $15.95 for December. 
Copper has eased $0.05 to $3.02 a pound. 
Oil has lost $1.59 to $US77.19 a barrel for December light crude in New York.