Outlook: Wall St rally set to boost Aus shares

Market Reports

A rally on Wall Street looks set to boost the Australian share market into the last session of the trading week. US stocks were supported by hopes interest rates will stay on hold for longer after soft economic indicators. America’s retail sales fell for the third straight month in February but jobless claims dropped to 289,000 last week.The Australian dollar has lifted back above $US0.77 and the price of iron ore is also trading higher on hopes for Chinese stimulus. 
 
Global markets
 
Wall Street enjoyed a strong session on Thursday: The Dow Jones Industrial Average rallied 1.5 per cent to close at 17,895, the S&P 500 gained 1.3 per cent to close at 2,066 and the Nasdaq improved 0.9 per cent to close at 4,893.
 
European markets ended mixed on Thursday: London's FTSE 100 rose 0.6 per cent, France's CAC 40 lost 0.2 per cent and Germany's DAX eased 0.1 per cent.
 
Asian markets moved higher on Thursday: Japan’s Nikkei climbed 1.4 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng lifted 0.3 per cent, and China’s Shanghai Composite advanced 1.8 per cent.
 
The Australian share market gathered momentum throughout yesterday and ended 1 per cent stronger: The S&P/ASX 200 index jumped 57 points to close at 5,850. On the futures market the SPI is 13 points higher. 
 
Currencies 
 
The Australian dollar at 7:30am was buying $US0.7709, 51.79 Pence Sterling, 93.51 Yen and 72.56 Euro cents.
 
Economic news due out today
 
Australian Bureau of Statistics: Lending finance figures for January 
 
Company news
 
Online employment and education group SEEK Limited (ASX:SEK) has unveiled new executive and structure changes. The changes include expanded roles for existing members and three new internal executive team appointments. CEO Andrew Bassat says the new team reflects the continued expansion and increased complexity of the business. Shares in SEEK rose 3.26 per cent to close at $17.74 yesterday before the announcement was made. 
 
Shares in TZ Limited (ASX:TZL) jumped yesterday after the technology company raised $6.4 million and affirmed its annual revenue guidance. Executive Chairman Mark Bouris says the new funds will enable TZ to accelerate revenue growth beyond this year by pursuing further contract wins and business opportunities. Mr Bouris has also welcomed the support of a number of new institutional investors. Shares in TZ jumped 13.64 per cent to close at $0.125 yesterday following the announcement. 

Commodities 

Gold has risen $1.30 to $US1,152 an ounce for the April contract on Comex. 
Silver has gained $0.15 to $15.52 for May. 
Copper has lifted $0.05 to $2.66 a pound. 
Oil has lost $1.12 to $US47.05 a barrel for April light crude in New York. 
 
Ex-dividends 
 
Adelaide Brighton Limited (ASX:ABC)
Cash Converters International Limited (ASX:CCV)
Cryosite Limited (ASX:CTE)
Desane Group Holdings Limited (ASX:DGH)
Data#3 Limited (ASX:DTL)
Fantastic Holdings Limited (ASX:FAN)
Grange Resources Limited (ASX:GRR)
Nuplex Industries Limited (ASX:NPX)
Reece Australia Limited (ASX:REH)
Spotless Group Holdings Limited (ASX:SPO)
Service Stream Limited (ASX:SSM)
Tassal Group Limited (ASX:TGR)