Outlook: Aus shares set for slightly lower open

Market Reports

by David Chau

The US share market was closed yesterday due to public holidays. The Australian share market looks set for to open slightly lower today, with no direction from the US.

European markets closed higher: London’s FTSE gained 0.1 per cent, Paris gained 0.3 per cent and Frankfurt was up 0.5 per cent.

Asian markets closed higher as well: Tokyo’s Nikkei gained 1.4 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 0.3 per cent, and China’s Shanghai Composite gained 0.1 per cent.

The Australian share market closed flat yesterday: The S&P/ASX 200 Index closed just 2 points up to finish at 5,408. On the futures market the SPI is down 7 points.


The Australian Dollar at 7:30AM was buying $US0.7184 cents, 49.09 Pence Sterling, 79.85 Yen and 64.52 Euro cents.

Turning to economic news: the ABS will release figures on building approvals and the country’s current account later today.

Company news

Regis Healthcare Limited (ASX:REG) has completed refinancing of its syndicated bank debt facilities, providing it with $370 million in total commitments. The company says that the new debt facility will fund its acquisition of Masonic Care Queensland.

Shares in Regis closed 0.2% per cent higher yesterday at $4.94.

Fortescue Metals Group Limited’s (ASX:FMG) subsidiary, Pilbara Marine Pty Ltd, has won the tender for a towage licence to operate tug boats in Port Hedland. BHP Billiton (Towage Services) is the holder of the other towage licence. Fortescue Metals says that the total capital cost of developing the infrastructure and operating the vessels will be less than $278 million.

Shares in Fortescue Metals traded 1.32% lower yesterday at $2.98.


1 company is going ex-dividend today. Orica Limited will pay a dividend of 20.5 cents, 48.78% franked.


Gold has lost $9.30 to $US1,207 an ounce for the June contract on Comex.
Silver has lost $0.25 to $16.02 for July.
Copper lost $0.02 to $2.10 a pound.
Oil has gained $0.27 to $US49.60 a barrel for June light crude in New York.

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