Outlook: Aus shares set for positive start to the week

Market Reports

The Australian share market is expected to open stronger today. Improved gold and oil prices are expected to boost resources stocks.   

US economic news

The Thomson Reuters and University of Michigan's index of consumer sentiment fell to 63.8, in June, the lowest since March 2009, and data from the Federal Reserve shows manufacturing output stagnated last month, probably because of supply disruptions in the auto sector related to the earthquake in Japan.

Figures

On Friday, Dow Jones Industrial Average, closed 43 points stronger at 12,480, S&P500 gained 7 points to close at 1,316 and the NASDAQ added 27 points to close at 2,790.

European stocks were mixed: London’s FTSE down 3 points, Paris down 25 and Frankfurt up 5.

Asian stocks were mixed: Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was down 65, Tokyo Nikkei was up 38 and China’s Shanghai Composite was up 10 points.
 
On Friday the Australian share market ended the week lower: The S&P/ASX 200 Index dropped 17 points to close at 4,474. While on the futures market the SPI is currently 17 points higher.
 
Currencies 

The Australian Dollar at 7:40AM was buying US$1.0646, 66.08 Pence Sterling, 84.22 Yen and 75.39 Euro cents.

Economic news

Due out today is ABS sales of new motor vehicles for June. 

Company news

On Friday shares in Fairfax Media (ASX:FXJ) recovered 1.1 per cent to close at 92 cents. The media company is expected to get an indication today of how much its broadcasting division, including radio station 2UE, is worth. The anticipated favourite bidder is Macquarie Radio Network, although it would need a capital raising to fund a purchase. For the six months to December 2010, Fairfax Media reported a net profit of $173 million.

On Friday shares in Wesfarmers (ASX:WES) rose 1.17 per cent to close at $30.37. The company’s Coles supermarket chain is set to go ahead with two new megastores, which will be two to three times bigger than normal stores, in Sydney’s Burwood and Melbourne’s Berwick. Construction plans are reportedly underway, and an application to build another of the megastores has also been lodged for Queensland. For the second half of last year, Wesfarmers (ASX:WES) reported a profit of $1.173 billion.

Ex-dividends

The only company going ex-dividend today is Euroz (ASX:EZL) with a 15 cent fully franked dividend. Coming up on Wednesday is Mirrabooka (ASX:MIR).  

Commodities

Gold is up $1 to $US1,590 an ounce for the August contract on Comex, silver is up 38 cents to $39.07 for September and copper is up 2 cents at $4.41 a pound. Oil is up $1.55 at $97.24 a barrel for August light crude in New York.


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