Outlook: Aus shares set for weak open

Market Reports


The Australian share market looks to open lower this morning following a slip in commodity prices and negative leads from global markets. 
 
European stocks started well after new European Central Bank stimulus packages were announced however they gave up early gains after ECB president Mario Dragi said further rate cuts there were unlikely. 
 
US stocks ended slightly lower as oil prices dropped again, iron ore prices also slumped. 
 
US economic news

Initial unemployment claims dropped by 18,000 to a seasonally adjusted 259,000, the lowest reading in nearly 6 months according to the Labor department. 

Markets

Wall Street closed mixed yesterday: The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 0.03 per cent to close at 16,995, the S&P 500 added 0.02 per cent to close at 1,990 and the NASDAQ lost 0.3 per cent to close at 4,662.
 
European markets closed lower: London’s FTSE shed 1.8 per cent, Paris lost 1.7 per cent and Frankfurt slipped 2.3 per cent.
 
Asian markets closed mixed: Tokyo’s Nikkei added 1.3 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang dipped 0.1 per cent, and China’s Shanghai Composite slid 2 per cent.
 
The Australian share market closed lower yesterday: The S&P/ASX 200 Index closed 7 points down to finish at 5,150. On the futures market the SPI is 6 points down.  
 
Currencies

The Australian Dollar at 8.50AM was buying 74.56 US cents, 52.21 Pence Sterling, 84.41 Yen and 66.71 Euro cents.
 
Company news
 
Havilah Resources Limited (ASX:HAV) has announced the forward sale of 300 ounces of gold from its Portia gold project. The miner realized $1,691 per ounce in sales from a long time shareholder who entered into the sale in advance of first gold production. Shares in Havilah Resources last traded 2.86 per cent higher at $0.36.
 
CIMIC Group Limited (ASX:CIM) says its investment arm has 90 per cent interest of all shares of Sedgeman Limited and is therefore exercising its right to compulsorily acquire the remaining shares in the company. Shares in CIMIC Group last traded 1.23 per cent higher to $34.61. 
 
Commodities

Gold has advanced $15.70 to US$1,273 an ounce for the April contract on Comex. Silver has added 26 cents to $15.63 for May. Copper lost 1 cent to $2.23 a pound. Oil has slipped 45 cents to US$39.62 a barrel for April light crude in New York.

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