Outlook: Aus shares expected to open higher

Market Reports

The Australian share market is expected to open higher, following Wall St closing stronger amid better than expected jobs data, easing concerns about the US economic recovery, ahead of the US labor day public holiday which will shorten the trading week on Wall St.

In US economic news: The US Department of Labor reported a drop of 54,000 jobs in August, just half the expected decline and far less than the 131,000 jobs lost in the month before. Jobs growth for August came in above expectations, private employers increasing employment by 67,000. While the unemployment rate increased 0.1%, inline with the forecast, to 9.6% for the period.

On Friday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 128 points higher at 10,448. The S&P 500 Index is up 14 points to 1,105 and the NASDAQ is up 34 at 2,234.

European stocks were higher; London’s FTSE up 57 points, Paris is up 41 and Frankfurt up 51.

Asian markets were mixed: Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was 103 points up on Friday, Tokyo’s Nikkei up 51 points and China’s Shanghai Composite was steady.

The Australian share market finished higher on Friday. The S&P/ASX 200 Index closed 9 higher to 4,541 and on the futures market the SPI200 is up 50 points. Turning to currencies and the Aussie Dollar at 7:40AM was buying 91.66 US cents, 59.35 Pence Sterling, 77.3 Yen and 71.14 Euro cents. In local economic news: Due out today is the TD Securities-Melbourne Institute inflation gauge for August.

In business news: Shares in Newcrest Mining Ltd (ASX:NCM) closed 1.17% up to $38.72 on Friday. According to media reports, Newcrest Mining CEO Ian Smith is planning further acquisitions. On Sunday Mr Smith told ABC TV that compared with the America’s, there is less competition for assets in the Asia-Pacific and West Africa, and that there are great opportunities in those parts of the world. Last week Newcrest took control of Lihir Gold, advising that the combined group will form the fourth largest gold company. Newcrest Mining reported a profit of $248.1 million for year to 30 June 2009.

Shares in Andean Resources Ltd (ASX:AND) closed 30.88% up to $6.40 on Friday. Andean Resources has agreed for Canada’s Goldcorp Inc to purchase the company for around $3.75 billion. Goldcorp’s offer trumps the offer made by Eldorado Gold Corporation last week. Andean is a dual listed company whose principal asset is the Cerro Negro Gold Project in Argentina. Andean Resources reported a net loss of $7.24 million in fiscal 2009.

To ex-dividends: There are 33 companies going ex-dividend today. Among them, AGL Energy with a 30 cent unfranked dividend, BHP Biliton with a 52.08 cent fully franked dividend, Credit Corp Group with a 5 cent fully franked dividend, Kingsgate Consolidated with a 20 cent unfranked dividend, Over Fifty Group with a 2.5 cent 30% franked dividend, and, Sky City with a 9.25 cent unfranked dividend. To commodities: and the price of gold is down US$2.30 to US $1249 for the September contract on Comex, silver is up US$0.28 to $19.92 and copper is steady $3.49 a pound.

The price of oil is down $0.42 to US$74.60 a barrel for October light crude in New York.

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