Outlook: Aus shares set to open flat

Market Reports


US stocks extended their decline with the blue chip Dow Jones index weighed down by news Caterpillar would be shedding 5,000 jobs next year. 
 
That news as well as the Volkswagen emissions crisis and investor concerns over interest rates is keeping the US markets within cooee of correction territory from record highs earlier in the year. 
 
A post-close speech from the Fed Chair Janet Yellen has indicated the US central bank still expects a rate rise this year could help provide impetus for the Aussie market looking for reasons to continue yesterday’s rally.
 
US economic news

From the Commerce Department, durable goods orders were down by 2 per cent for August. New home sales were up 5.7 per cent to 552,000, their highest level since 2008. Meanwhile jobless claims rose by 3,000 to a seasonally adjusted 267,000 and below expectations. The four week moving average is at its lowest level since 2000 showing a strengthening jobs market. And 
 
Markets

Wall Street closed lower yesterday: The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 0.5 per cent to close at 16,201, the S&P 500 shed 0.3 per cent to close at 1,932 and the NASDAQ lost 0.4 per cent to close at 4,734.
 
European markets were also down: London’s FTSE slipped 1.2 per cent, Paris lost 1.9 per cent and Frankfurt was 1.9 per cent lower as well.
 
Asian markets closed mixed: Tokyo’s Nikkei shed 2.8 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng slipped nearly one per cent, and China’s Shanghai Composite added 0.9 per cent.
 
The Australian share market closed higher yesterday: The S&P/ASX 200 Index closed 74 points up to finish at 5,072. On the futures market the SPI is 2 points up. 
 
Currencies

The Australian Dollar at 7:30AM was buying 70.03 US cents, 46.01 Pence Sterling, 84.26 Yen and 62.62 Euro cents.
 
Company news
 
Freedom Foods Group Limited (ASX:FNP) says it has completed the acquisition of the land adjacent to the Pactum Dairy in Shepparton Victoria. The seven hectare site cost $4 million. Freedom recently formed a strategic partnership with New Hope Dairy Holdings, a Chinese company that invests in dairy farms across NSW and Victoria with a view to eventually export to China. Shares in Freedom Foods last traded 0.99 per cent lower at $3.00. 
 
And Federation Centres Limited (ASX:FDC) say they have had a priced $433 million worth of US Private Placement notes following a successful US roadshow earlier this month. The funds will be used to repay existing unsecured debt. Shares in Federation Centres last traded 3.82 per cent higher at $2.72. 
 
Ex-divs

Two companies are going ex-dividend today: Prime Financial (ASX:PFG) Will pay 0.4 cents and Southern Cross Media (ASX:SXL) will pay 3 cents, both fully franked. 
 
Commodities

Gold has lifted $21.80 to US$1,153 an ounce for the December contract on Comex. Silver has added 33 cents to $15.12 for December. Copper has is up by 1 cent to $2.30 a pound. Oil has added 62 cents to US$45.10 a barrel for November light crude in New York.