Outlook: ASX to eye AUD & iron ore falls

Market Reports

The Australian share market looks poised for a positive start after Wall Street hovered near record highs. US traders were supported by figures showing the economy expanded 3.9 per cent in the third quarter, offsetting a drop in consumer confidence this month. The robust growth figures and comments from the RBA have put pressure on the local currency which has hit a four-year low against the greenback. Across commodity markets the price of iron ore has continued to decline to a fresh five-year low under $US70 per tonne. 
 
Global markets
 
Wall Street closed mixed on Tuesday: The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 0.02 per cent to close at 17,815, the S&P 500 dipped 0.1 per cent to close at 2,067 and the Nasdaq added 0.07 per cent to close at 4,758.
 
European markets gained ground on Tuesday: London's FTSE 100 rose 0.02 per cent, France's CAC 40 rose 0.3 per cent and Germany's DAX rose 0.8 per cent.
 
Asian markets closed mixed on Tuesday: Japan’s Nikkei lifted 0.3 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng lost 0.2 per cent, and China’s Shanghai Composite jumped 1.4 per cent.
 
The successful float of Medibank Private Limited (ASX:MPL) failed to boost the local bourse yesterday: The S&P/ASX 200 index fell 27 points to close at 5,335 on Tuesday. On the futures market the SPI is 6 points higher. 
 
Currencies 
 
The Australian dollar at 8:30am was buying $US0.8528, 54.32 Pence Sterling, 100.63 Yen and 68.39 Euro cents.
 
Economic news due out today 
 
Australian Bureau of Statistics: Construction work done for September quarter
 
Housing Industry Association-Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA): Affordability report for the September quarter
  
Best and worst performers
 
Shares in NRW Holdings Limited (ASX:NWH) plunged after issuing a profit warning. The mining contractor says earnings for full 2015 financial year are likely to be materially lower than the last financial year. NRW Holdings says the result will also be significantly dependent on a successful outcome to a series of current and ongoing negotiations with Samsung on the Roy Hill rail project. The company has also advised it expects its Action Equipment Services business will book a $50 million impairment due to challenging market conditions. Shares in NRW Holdings plunged 17.24 per cent to close at $0.48 following the announcement. 
 
Shares in Cardia Bioplastics Limited (ASX:CNN) surged 50 per cent after announcing a proposed merger with privately held Stellar Films Group. The deal is aiming to create a leader in sustainable packaging but is still subject to due diligence, conditions and approvals. Cardia says the intended merger will complement and strengthen its business in its product offering, market position and global reach. Shares in Cardia Bioplastics surged 50 per cent to close at $0.003 following the announcement.
 
Ex-dividends
 
Infratil Limited (ASX:IFZ) paying a 17.77 cent unfranked dividend 
 
Commodities 

Gold has risen $1.40 to $US1,197 an ounce for the December contract on Comex. 
Silver has lifted $0.17 to $16.55 for December. 
Copper has dipped $0.04 to $2.96 a pound. 
Oil has lost $1.69 to $US74.09 a barrel for January light crude in New York.