Outlook: Aus shares set for cautious start

Market Reports

 
Wall Street posted modest gains in cautious trade overnight on the back of rallies in global markets optimistic about a possible solution to the Greek debt crisis. 
 
The Nasdaq closed at a record high for the second consecutive session with US stocks providing a mildly positive lead for the ASX.  

US economic news

New home sales have reached their fastest pace since February 2008. May figures from the Commerce Department showed new single family homes sold at an annual rate of 546,000, up 19.5 per cent from a year earlier and above April’s revised rate of 534,000. 
 
Also from the Commerce Department demand for durable goods, or big ticket manufactured items fell a seasonally adjusted 1.8 per cent in May, mainly due to lower demand for commercial aircraft. 
 
Markets

Wall Street closed slightly higher yesterday: The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.1 per cent to close at 18,144, the S&P 500 was flat at 2,124 and the NASDAQ added 0.1 per cent to close at 5,160.
 
European markets closed higher: London’s FTSE rose 0.1 per cent, Paris added 1.2 per cent and Frankfurt advanced 0.7 per cent.
 
Asian markets closed stronger: Tokyo’s Nikkei added 1.9 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng 0.9 per cent, and China’s Shanghai Composite advanced 2.2 per cent.
 
The Australian share market closed higher yesterday: The S&P/ASX 200 Index closed 74 points up to finish at 5,684. On the futures market the SPI is 1 point up. 
 
Currencies

The Australian Dollar at 7:20AM was buying 77.33 US cents, 49.22 Pence Sterling, 95.84 Yen and 69.35 Euro cents.
 
Company news
 
Amcom Communications Limited (ASX:AMM) announced they have received approval for their tie-up with Vocus Communications Limited (ASX:VOC). The Federal Court of Australia has approved the scheme of arrangement and the new Vocus shares are expected to begin trading on July 9 under the ASX code VOCN. Shares in Amcom last traded up 1.15 per cent at $2.65.
 
Flight Centre Travel Group (ASX:FLT) has provided updated guidance saying it now expects profit to be in the range of $355 million to $365 million. The estimate is at the lower end of the previous target of up to $390 million. The down grade is due to lower revenues thanks to heavy discounting, a wage change resulting in higher costs and slow growth. Shares in Flight Centre last traded 13.59 per cent lower at $37.51. 
 

Ex-dividends

One companies is trading ex-dividend today: G8 Education Limited (ASX:GEM) will pay 6 cents fully franked. 
 
Commodities

Gold has slipped $6.50 to $US1,178 an ounce for the August contract on Comex. Silver has tumbled 34 cents to $15.84 for July. Copper has added 4 cents to $2.62 a pound. Oil is $0.77 stronger at $US61.15 a barrel for July light crude in New York.

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