Outlook: Aus shares set for lower start

Market Reports

Following mixed leads, the Australian share market looks set to open lower after Wall St reversed its gains in the final hour of trade following further concern that Greece may exit the eurozone.

US economic news 

Existing home sales have surged in April according to the National Association of Realtors. Home sales were up 3.4 per cent from the month before, to 4.62 million homes sold for the month, a 10 per cent rise from the same time last year.

Fitch Ratings have cut Japan’s foreign-currency grade by two levels to A+ from AA.
 
Figures

Wall Street closed mixed yesterday: The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 2 points to close at 12,503, the S&P500 gained 0.64 points to close at 1,317 and the Nasdaq lost 8 points to close at 2,839.

European markets closed up: London’s FTSE is up by 99 points, Paris gained 57 and Frankfurt is up by 105 points.

Asian markets closed up: Hong Kong’s Hang Seng added 117 points, Tokyo’s Nikkei added 95 and China’s Shanghai Composite added 25 points.

The Australian share market closed higher yesterday: The S&P/ASX 200 Index closed 47 points up to finish at 4,121. On the futures market the SPI is 19 points down.

Currencies

The Australian Dollar at 7:15AM was buying 98.09 US cents, 62.22 Pence Sterling, 78.47 Yen and 77.32 Euro cents.

Economic news

Due out today is the Westpac - Melbourne Institute Indexes of Economic Activity.
 
Stocks to watch this morning

Singapore Telecommunications Limited (ASX:SGT) has inked a deal to acquire a popular Singapore food website called HungryGoWhere. The acquisition worth about $9.6 million, will be merged with SingTel’s lifestyle website inSing.com, which it expects will expand its audience throughout Asia. SingTel says its growth strategy is to build digital solutions that help customers in their daily lives. Shares in SingTel closed 0.40 per cent up yesterday at $2.51.

Tasmanian timber company Gunns Limited (ASX:GNS) has entered into a legal battle with the purchaser of its Victorian hardwood mill. In a statement to the market Gunn says, “the company is in dispute with the purchaser in respect of one aspect of the sale contract.” The matter was heard by the Supreme Court yesterday and Gunns expects the sale to complete when the matter is resolved.
Shares in Gunns last traded at $0.16.

Ex-dividends

One company scheduled tomorrow: SP AusNet (ASX:SPN)
 
Commodities

Gold is down $12.10 to $US1,576.60 an ounce for the June contract on Comex. Silver is down $0.14 to $28.12 for July. Copper is down $0.015 cents at $3.49 a pound. Oil is down $0.91 at US$91.66 a barrel for June light crude in New York.