Outlook: Aus shares set to edge higher

Market Reports

The local sharemarket prepares to edge higher at this midway point in the trading week as Wall Street recovered from losses to close flat, despite a continued sell-off in the energy space. 

To the figures: Wall Street closed lower: The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 0.1 per cent to close at 16,014, the S&P 500 lost 0.1 per cent to close at 1,852 and the NASDAQ lost 0.35 per cent to close at 4,269.
European markets closed lower: London’s FTSE fell 1 per cent, Paris lost 1.7 per cent and Frankfurt lost 1.1 per cent.
Asian markets closed lower: Tokyo’s Nikkei lost 5.4 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng and China’s Shanghai Composite were closed.
The Australian share market closed lower yesterday: The S&P/ASX 200 Index closed 143 points down to finish at 4,832. On the futures market the SPI is 3 points up. 

The Australian Dollar at 8:30AM was buying $US0.7066 cents, 48.85 Pence Sterling, 81.31 Yen and 62.58 Euro cents.

Economic news
Due out today is the Westpac-Melbourne Institute consumer confidence read for February.
Company news
Finbar Group Limited (ASX:FRI) has secured a joint venture development with an estimated project end value of $109 million. The joint venture will result in the redevelopment of land located in Palmyra, near Fremantle in Western Australia. Finbar’s initial design concept has the site being redeveloped into approximately 254 apartments over two equal size stages. Shares in Finbar Group closed 0.5 per cent lower yesterday at $0.99.  
Nearmap Limited (ASX:NEA) has reported a 21 percent increase in total revenue of $14.1 million, up from $11.7 million the previous corresponding period. CEO Rob Newman said Nearmap continues revenue growth in Australia and reaffirmed the opportunities for growth and high returns in the aerial imaging market in Australia and the US. Shares in Nearmap closed 2.67 per cent lower yesterday at $0.37. 

1 company is going ex-dividend today: UXC Limited will pay 2 cents fully-franked. 

Gold has lost $8.80 to $US1,189 an ounce for the April contract on Comex.
Silver has lost $0.17 to $15.26 for March.
Copper has lost $0.05 to $2.04 a pound.
Oil has lost $1.33 to $US28.36 a barrel for March light crude in New York.

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