Outlook: Aus shares set to open lower

Market Reports

Following weak leads from Wall Street, the Australian share market looks set to open in negative territory this morning. Thanks to falling oil prices, it was energy stocks that were the biggest drag on the Dow, with the price of the commodity slipping 4.6 per cent overnight. 
 
To US economic news, according to payroll processor ADP, the private sector added 217,000 jobs in November. This could indicate that the Labor Department will also report gains for a second straight month on Friday, making a rate hike by the Fed this month look more and more likely. The figure beat Bloomberg economists’ expectations of a gain of 190,000 jobs. 

Global markets
 
Wall Street closed lower yesterday: The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 0.9 per cent to close at 17,730, the S&P 500 retreated 1.1 per cent to close at 2,080 and the NASDAQ lost 0.6 per cent to close at 5,123.
 
European markets closed mixed: London’s FTSE added 0.4 per cent, Paris lost 0.2 per cent and Frankfurt lost 0.6 per cent.
 
Asian markets closed mixed: Tokyo’s Nikkei lost 0.4 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 0.4 per cent, and China’s Shanghai Composite gained 2.3 per cent.
 
The Australian share market closed lower yesterday: The S&P/ASX 200 Index closed 8 points down to finish at 5,258. On the futures market the SPI is 53 points lower. 

Currencies
 
Turning to currencies and the Australian Dollar at 8:30AM was buying 73.05 US cents, 48.9 Pence Sterling, 90.04 Yen and 68.87 Euro cents.
 
Economic news

Due out today from the Australian Bureau of Statistics is the trade data (imports and exports) for October. The Performance of Services index will also be released later today. 
 
Company news

Finbar Group Limited (ASX:FRI) has announced it has received approval for a 33 storey mixed-use joint venture project to be constructed on Adelaide Terrace in East Perth. The project will comprise 247 residential apartments, worth an estimated $162 million in project end value. Shares in Finbar closed 0.95 per cent higher at $1.06. 
 
Ex-dividends
 
Two companies are going ex-dividend today: ALS Limited (ASX:ALQ) will pay a partly franked dividend of 7.5 cents and the Australian Government Index Fund (ASX:AQF) will pay a fully franked dividend of 2 cents. 
 
Commodities

Gold has lost $11.20 to $US1,052 an ounce for the February contract on Comex.
Silver has lost 10 cents to $13.98 for March.
Copper has lost 3 cents to $2.04 a pound.
Oil has lost $1.67 to $US40.18 a barrel for January light crude in New York.

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