Outlook: ASX eyes continued US weakness

Market Reports

Wall Street extended its losing streak overnight to close lower with the Nasdaq retreating further from its record high. The local market looks set for a slow start following yesterday’s selloff of the banks which saw a negative close.
 
Bank stocks have come off recent highs as a regulatory focus returns to lending for real estate speculation. Increasing yields on government bonds have also had an impact. 
 
The Aussie dollar remains just above the $US0.79 mark with the RBA’s cash rate call next week the key pressure point. 
 
Global figures

Wall Street closed lower yesterday: The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost a little over 1 per cent to close at 17,841, the S&P 500 lost 1 per cent to close at 2,086 and the NASDAQ lost 1.6 per cent to close at 4,941.
 
European markets closed up: London’s FTSE gained 0.2 per cent, Paris gained 0.1 per cent and Frankfurt pushed 0.2 per cent higher.
 
Asian markets closed lower: Tokyo’s Nikkei is down 2.7 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gave up 0.9 per cent, and China’s Shanghai Composite dropped 0.8 per cent.
 
The Australian share market closed lower yesterday: The S&P/ASX 200 Index closed 49 points down to finish at 5,790. On the futures market the SPI is flat. 
 
Turning to currencies and the Australian Dollar at 7:20AM was buying $US0.7914 cents, 51.55 Pence Sterling, 94.49 Yen and 70.51 Euro cents.
 
Economic news

Due out today from the Australian Bureau of Statistics are the producer price indexes to give us a look at import prices and inflation impacting big business. 
 
Company news
 
Suncorp Group Limited (ASX:SUN) says the financial impact of the NSW storms will be $135 million and the Anzac Day hail event will cost between $50 million to $70 million, both net of reinsurance. The insurance company says it’s responding to 25,000 claims from the two events across its Aami, GIO, Apia and Vero brands. CEO Patrick Snowball says responding to customers and ensuring community safety remains the priority. Shares in Suncorp closed 0.34 per cent lower yesterday at $13.11
 
Novion Property Group’s (ASX:NVN) fund NERF has bought the Lidcombe Shopping Centre in NSW for $60 million. Joint Head of Wholesale Jason Ferris says it provides a unique opportunity for investors to acquire a newly built sub-regional centre. Shares in Novion closed 0.4 per cent down yesterday at $2.47
 
Commodities

Gold has lost $27.60 to $US1,182 an ounce for the June contract on Comex.
Silver has lost $0.54 to $16.12 for May.
Copper has gained $0.09 to $2.88 a pound.
Oil has pushed $1.05 higher to $US59.63 a barrel for June light crude in New York.