RBA’s Philip Lowe’s testimony due: ASX poised to open lower

Market Reports

by Rachael Jones

The Australian share market is poised to edged lower as US shares extended losses. China is proposing that it could buy an additional US$30 billion a year of US agricultural products including soybeans, corn and wheat as part of a possible trade deal being negotiated by the two countries. The purchases would be on top of pre-trade trouble levels.
The Australian dollar continues to fall after Westpac chief economist, Bill Evans, is now tipping two RBA interest rate cuts this year.

Reporting Companies 

- Ardent Leisure Group (ASX:ALG)
- Australian Finance Group (ASX:AFG)
- Automotive Holdings (ASX:AHG)
- BWX (ASX:BWX)
- Charter Hall Group (ASX:CHC)
- Coventry Group (ASX:CYG)
- iCar Asia (ASX:ICQ)
- InvoCare (ASX:IVC)
- Kogan.com (ASX:KGN)
- MyState (ASX:MYS)
- Mayne Pharma Group (ASX:MYX)
- NetComm Wireless (ASX:NTC)
- Village Roadshow (ASX:VRL)
- WPP AUNZ (ASX:WPP)

Economic News

Philip Lowe, Governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia is appearing before the Australian parliament this morning in the semi-annual testimony to the House of Representatives' Standing Committee on Economics. We'll bring you the highlights of this as soon as we get it.

Markets

Wall Street closed lower yesterday: The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.4 per cent to close at 25,851, the S&P 500 dropped 0.4 per cent to close at 2,775 and the NASDAQ was down 0.4 per cent to close at 7460.

European markets closed mixed: London’s FTSE dropped 0.9 per cent, Paris closed flat and Frankfurt closed 0.2 per cent higher.

Asian markets closed mixed, Tokyo’s Nikkei closed 0.2 per cent higher,Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 0.4 per cent and China’s Shanghai Composite fell 0.3 per cent.

Taking all of this into equation, the ASX futures are down 8 points. Yesterday the Australian share market closed 0.7 per cent higher or 43 points to 6139.

Company news

Auckland Airport (ASX:AIA) has reduced its charges to airlines by $33 million over the current five-year pricing period, equating to 31 cents per passenger. The move came after careful consideration of the Commerce Commission’s final report on pricing. Auckland Airport’s chief executive Adrian Littlewood says “We believe the prices we had set were fair and in line with international standards." The airport operator also released its half year report today showing an 11 percent decline in first-half profit, now standing at $147.2 million compared to $165.9 million on the prior corresponding period. Auckland Airport has reduced its target return from 6.99 per cent to 6.62 per cent, compared to the Comission’s benchmark for airports of 6.41 per cent. Shares in the Auckland International Airport(ASX:AIA) closed flat at $7 yesterday.

Ex-Dividend

Ansell (ASX:ANN) is paying 29.25 cents unfranked
Link Administration Holdings (ASX:LNK) is paying 8 cents fully franked
Super Retail Group (ASX:SUL) is paying 21.5 cents fully franked
Woodside Petroleum (ASX:WPL) is paying 127.56 cents fully franked

Currencies

One Australian Dollar at 8:40 AM was buying 70.94 US cents, 54.43 Pence Sterling, 78.54 Yen and 62.60 Euro cents.

Commodities

Iron Ore has dropped 1.5 per cent to at US$86.68. It futures suggest a 2.0 per cent fall.
Gold has dropped $22.50 to US$1325 an ounce.
Silver has lost $0.40 to US$15.88 an ounce.
Oil has fallen $0.34 to US$56.82 a barrel.