Outlook: Aus shares set to start the week higher

Market Reports


US stocks bounced higher on Friday clawing back some of the week’s losses and providing a positive lead for the Australian sharemarket. 
 
US investors were buying up health and tech shares whilst scanning for signs that the US economy was pulling out of a first quarter soft patch. 
 
US economic news

There was a bunch of data to browse on Friday. Data firm Markit showed the US Manufacturing PMI fell to 54.1 in April from 55.7 in March and below preliminary readings of 54.2. 
 
The University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment survey was up to 95.9 in April from 93.0 in March.
 
Construction was down 0.6 per cent in March. 
 
However car sales were up 5.4 per cent in April. 
 
Markets

Wall Street closed higher on Friday: The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 1 per cent to close at 18,024, the S&P 500 added 1.1 per cent to close at 2,108 and the NASDAQ advanced 1.3 per cent to close at 5,005.
 
European markets closed up: London’s FTSE was up 0.4 per cent, Paris and Frankfurt were closed due to public holidays. 
 
Asian markets were mixed: Tokyo’s Nikkei added 0.1 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang slipped 0.9 per cent, and China’s Shanghai Composite shed 0.8 per cent.
 
The Australian share market closed higher on Friday: The S&P/ASX 200 Index closed 24 points up to finish at 5,814, down 119 points on the week. On the futures market the SPI is 34 points up. 
 
Currencies

The Australian Dollar at 7:30AM was buying 78.39 US cents, 51.8 Pence Sterling, 94.24 Yen and 70.04 Euro cents.
 
Economic news

Due out today from the ACCI is business expectations, ANZ jobs figures will be released along with residential housing approvals.   
 
Company news
 
CSR Limited (ASX:CSR) and Boral Limited (ASX:BLD) have formed an alliance combining their east coast brick operations. Boral CSR Bricks Pty Limited is now operating a 60/40 joint venture with CSR the major shareholder. Nick Pezet has been appointed General Manager of the operation which expects to generate $7-$10 million in savings annually. Shares in CSR last traded 3.01 per cent higher at $3.76. 
 
And Sino Oil and Gas Limied (ASX:SAO) has advised that CEO and Director Guangbin Zhong will step down from both roles effective immediately. The company is currently under investigation by ASIC over allegedly making false statements in its prospectus and has been banned from transferring money out of Australia ahead of a Federal Court trial in July. Shares have been suspended by the ASX. They last traded at $0.475
 
Ex-divdends

One company is going ex-dividend today, Supply Network (ASX:SNL) will pay 25 cents fully franked.  
 
Commodities

Gold has slipped $8.10 to $US1,175 an ounce for the June contract on Comex. Silver has shed 2 cents to $16.14 for July. Copper has climbed 6 cents to $2.93 a pound. Oil has dipped $0.55 to $US59.15 a barrel for June light crude in New York.