Outlook: Aus shares set to open flat

Market Reports

The Australian share market should open relatively flat today after global stocks saw little movement ahead of the weekend.
 
Sentiment in the US is starting to swing a little higher with stocks in the US posting their strongest weekly gains since the start of the New Year.  
 
Markets

Wall Street closed mixed on Friday: The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 0.1 per cent to close at 16,392, the S&P 500 ended flat at 1,918 and the NASDAQ added 0.4 per cent to close at 4,504.
 
European markets closed lower: London’s FTSE shed 0.4 per cent, Paris also lost 0.4 per cent and Frankfurt slipped 0.8 per cent. 
 
Asian markets closed lower: Tokyo’s Nikkei shed 1.4 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng retreated 0.4 per cent, and China’s Shanghai Composite slid 0.1 per cent.
 
The Australian share market closed lower on Friday after making positive gains over the week: The S&P/ASX 200 Index closed 39 points down to finish at 4,953 to be 187 points higher on the week. On the futures market the SPI is 1 point down. 
 
Currencies

The Australian Dollar at 7:20AM was buying 71.53 US cents, 50.17 Pence Sterling, 80.5 Yen and 64.34 Euro cents.
 
Company news
 
Flight Centre Travel Group Limited (ASX:FLT) has agreed to fast track the sale of DVI’s remaining interests in the BYOjetgroup business. An upfront payment of $700,000 plus future payments linked to 2018 EBITDA will seal the deal and allow the necessary capital investment in BYOjetgroup without diluting the stock. Shares in Flight Centre last traded 0.32 per cent down at $40.36. 
 
Macmahon Holdings Limited (ASX:MAH) has posted a net profit of $3.3 million in a return to profitability after a year of losses. Three new contracts have helped turnaround the challenging market conditions. Full year revenue is forecast between $330 - $360 million however the second half is to be impacted by start up costs and the conclusion of the Olympic Dam operations. Shares in Macmahon Holdings added 1.14 per cent to 8.9 cents. 
 
Ex dividends

Coca Cola Amatil (ASX:CCL) will pay 23.5 cents with 75% franking. Oz Minerals (ASX:OZL) will pay 14 cents with no franking and Woodside Petroleum (ASX:WPL) will pay 60 cents fully-franked. 
 
Commodities

Gold has advanced $4.50 to US$1,231 an ounce for the April contract on Comex. Silver has slipped 6 cents to $15.40 for March. Copper is virtually flat at $2.08 a pound. Oil has shed $1.18 to US$31.75 a barrel for March light crude in New York.