Outlook: Shares set to open higher on strong leads

Market Reports

The Australian share market is set to open stronger today as it receives positive leads from offshore trading overnight. Wall Street has extended its year-end rally as solid earnings and a flurry or merger action saw a steady upward trend in the equities market. On Tuesday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average, closed 55 points higher at 11,533. S&P500 lifted 8 points to 1,255 and the NASDAQ added 18 points to 2,668. European stocks were higher: London’s FTSE up 60 points, Paris up 42 and Frankfurt is up 59. To Asian markets, stocks were stronger: Hong Kong’s Hang Seng up 355, Tokyo’s Nikkei up 154 points and China’s Shanghai Composite up 51 points. The Australian share market finished higher on Tuesday. The S&P/ASX 200 Index closed 35 points higher at 4,772 and on the futures market the SPI is up 14 points. Turning to currencies and the Aussie Dollar at 8:35AM was buying 99.77 US cents, 64.47 Pence Sterling, 83.52 Yen and 76.12 Euro cents. Economic news: Due out today, Westpac and the Melbourne Institute release their Indexes of Economic Activity. Company news: Shares in Leighton Holdings Ltd (ASX:LEI) closed 0.16 per cent higher at $32.16. The sale of Leighton Holdings’ 35 per cent stake in an Indian construction business has been delayed as regulators are investigating the buyer. The Securities and Exchange Board of India has alleged that the buyer, Welspun Corporation of India, engaged in price manipulation and unfair trading. Leighton expected to complete the sale before the end of the year, so that it was able to book the proceeds when the company finalises first-half earnings for the six months to December 31. The sale was expected to result in its net profit forecast for 2011 of $510 million. For the year ended 30 June 2010, Leighton reported a net profit of $615 million. Iron ore explorer Radar Iron Ltd (ASX:RAD) has made a strong debut on the Australian share market as its shares finished 5 per cent higher in intraday trade yesterday. The Perth-based company’s initial public offer of 30 million shares at an issue price of 20 cents each sought to raise $6 million but was oversubscribed and ultimately raised $6.8 million. The company says it received strong support from both Australian and Asian investors. Ex-dividends: There are no companies going ex-dividend today and coming up tomorrow there are 49 companies going ex-dividend, some of which include Infigen Energy, Dexus Property and Stockland Group. Commodities: Gold is up $2.70 to $US1,388 an ounce for the February contract on Comex, silver is up $0.04 to $29.39 for March and copper is up $0.07 to $4.28 a pound. Oil is up $0.45 at $US89.82 a barrel for January light crude in New York.

Are you a 708 sophisticated investor?

A sophisticated investor is defined under Section 708 of the Corporations Act (net assets of $2.5 million or annual incomes in excess of $250,000).

They are eligible to receive information regarding wholesale investment opportunities that are not available to regular or retail investors.

Please subscribe if you would like to be alerted to these types of opportunities.