Outlook: Aus shares set to open flat

Market Reports


Following mild gains in most US markets ahead of the weekend, Australian share market looks set to open relatively flat. The S&P500 is again nudging record highs following Thursday’s big rally. 
 
US economic news

The Federal Reserve says US industrial output slipped 0.3 per cent in April, declining for the fifth consecutive month. US consumer sentiment came in at 88.6, the lowest reading in 7 months. 

Markets

Wall Street closed mixed on Friday: The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.1 per cent to close at 18,273, the S&P 500 added 0.1 per cent to close at 2,123 and the NASDAQ lost 0.05 per cent to close at 5,048.
 
European markets closed lower: London’s FTSE shed 0.2 per cent, Paris lost 0.7 per cent and Frankfurt retreated just under one per cent.
 
Asian markets closed mixed: Tokyo’s Nikkei added 0.8 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng advanced nearly 2 per cent, and China’s Shanghai Composite slipped 1.6 per cent.
 
The Australian share market closed higher on Friday: The S&P/ASX 200 Index closed 39 points up to finish at 5,736, adding 101 points on the week. On the futures market the SPI is 2 points up. 
 
Currencies

Australian Dollar at 7:20AM was buying 80.43 US cents, 51.10 Pence Sterling, 95.95 Yen and 70.27 Euro cents.
 
Economic news

Due out today from the Australian Bureau of Statistics is new motor vehicle sales. 
 
Company news
 
Energy World Corporation Limited (ASX:EWC) has announced a fully underwritten $75 million fund raising. The offer of non-renounceable pr- rata rights issue of convertible notes will assist with the construction of a LNG train and gas turbines for the Phillipines power plant development. The offer closes on the 12th of June. Shares in Energy World Corporation last traded flat at $0.375. 
 
And PanAust Limited (ASX:PNA) will be removed from the S&P/ASX200 index following the Guandong Rising Assets Management cash offer going unconditional. PanAust will be removed after the close of trade on May 22, 2015 and will not be replaced. The index will be instead welcome the additional constituent of South32 Limited (ASX:S32) following it’s demerger from BHP Billiton (ASX:BHP). PanAust was steady on Friday at $1.85. 
 
Ex-dividends

Two companies are going ex-dividend today: Macquarie Group Limited (ASX:MQG) will pay $2 with 40 per cent franking and WAM Research Limited (ASX:WAX) will pay 4 cents fully franked. 

Commodities

Gold has advanced 10c to $US1,225 an ounce for the June contract on Comex. Silver has added 10c to $17.56 for July. Copper is steady at $2.92 a pound. Oil has slipped 19c to US$59.69 a barrel for June light crude in New York.