Outlook: ASX eyes gains after Wall St rallies

Market Reports

The Australian share market is eyeing a strong start to the session after Wall Street spiked into the new week. American equity markets lifted ahead of a key US Federal Reserve meeting and after industrial production was shown to have risen last month. Across commodity markets energy stocks could be set for another rough day after the oil price has continued to decline. The Reserve Bank of Australia will also be in focus with minutes due from the monetary policy meeting which left rates on hold at a record low. 
 
Global markets
 
Wall Street moved higher Monday: The Dow Jones Industrial Average rallied 1.3 per cent to close at 17,977, the S&P 500 rallied 1.4 per cent to close at 2,081 and the Nasdaq rallied 1.2 per cent to close at 4,930.
 
European markets started the week stronger: London's FTSE 100 gained 0.9 per cent, France's CAC 40 rose 1 per cent and Germany's DAX advanced 2.2 per cent.
 
Asian markets put in a mixed performance on Monday: Japan’s Nikkei slipped 0.04 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng added 0.5 per cent, and China’s Shanghai Composite jumped 2.3 per cent.
 
After dropping 1.4 per cent over last week the Australian share market continued to trade in negative territory and ended 0.3 per cent lower on Monday: The S&P/ASX 200 index finished 17 points lower at 5,798 yesterday. On the futures market the SPI is 46 points stronger. 
 
Currencies 
 
The Australian dollar at 7:30am was buying $US0.764, 51.55 Pence Sterling, 92.75 Yen and 72.32 Euro cents.
 
Economic news due out today
 
Reserve Bank of Australia: Minutes of the March monetary policy meeting
 
ANZ Banking Group (ASX:ANZ): Weekly consumer confidence survey
 
Company news
 
New Zealand based insurance group Tower Limited (ASX:TWR, NZE:TWR) does not expect to be impacted by Cyclone Pam which hit the Pacific Islands over the weekend. While Tower has a presence in the region it does not have exposure in Vanuatu, the country most devastated by what has been described as the most destructive storm in its history. Shares in Tower rose 1.35 per cent to close at $2.25 on Monday. 
 
Shares in Grange Resources Limited (ASX:GRR) gained after the iron ore miner and pellet producer provided an upbeat market update and spruiked a positive outlook. Grange says it continues to enjoy robust margins and cashflow amid strong demand for high-grade iron ore pellets so far this year. Shares in Grange Resources gained 10 per cent to close at $0.11 on Monday. 
 
Ex-dividends
 
Auckland International Airport Limited (ASX:AIA) paying a 7.0777 cent unfranked dividend
Burson Group Limited (ASX:BAP) paying a 4 cent unfranked dividend
Equity Trustees Limited (ASX:EQT) paying a 46 cent fully franked dividend
Timpetra Resources Limited (ASX:TPR) paying a 0.7 cent unfranked dividend
Vita Life Sciences Limited (ASX:VSC) paying a 2 cent unfranked dividend
 
Commodities 

Gold has risen $0.80 to $US1,153 an ounce for the April contract on Comex. 
Silver has firmed $0.12 to $15.62 for May. 
Copper has lifted $0.004 to $2.67 a pound. 
Oil has dropped $0.96 to $US43.88 a barrel for April light crude in New York.

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