Outlook: Aus shares set for positive start

Market Reports

The Australian share market looks set for a positive start to the week after US stocks rose on Friday as promising comments from lawmakers fueled hopes a fiscal cliff deal will be done before the end of the year. As there is no major local economic news scheduled for release today attention will again remain on a series of annual general meetings. 

Wall Street dropped over last week but finished Friday higher: The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 46 points to close at 12,588, the S&P500 added 7 points to close at 1,360 and the Nasdaq added 16 points to close at 2,853.
European markets fell at the end of last week: London’s FTSE lost 72 points, Paris lost 41 points and Frankfurt lost 93 points.
Asian markets closed mixed at the end of last week: Hong Kong’s Hang Seng added 50 points, Tokyo’s Nikkei added 194 and China’s Shanghai Composite lost 16 points.
The Australian share mark pulled back 0.3 per cent on Friday, extending the weekly decline: The S&P/ASX 200 Index lost 12 points on Friday and fell 123 points over the week to finish at 4,337. On the futures market the SPI is 12 points higher. 

The Australian Dollar at 8:20AM was buying $US1.034 cents, 65.14 Pence Sterling, 84.18 Yen and 81.2 Euro cents.
Company news

Woolworths Limited (ASX:WOW) is continuing to expand its liquor presence having now reportedly inked a new three year deal with a brewing company in Western Australia. According to Fairfax Media the supermarket giant will extend its deal with Gage Roads Brewing Co. Limited (ASX:GRB) as part of Woolies strategy of rolling out private label or exclusive beer labels in its stores and liquor outlets. The report states Woolworths is Gage Roads Brewing’s biggest shareholder with a controlling 25 per cent stake. Shares in Gage Roads Brewing jumped almost 16 per cent on Friday while Shares in Woolworths dipped 0.57 per cent to finish the week at $28.11. 
ANZ Banking Group's (ASX:ANZ) chief has scored the biggest pay pack of the banking executives, taking home $10.1 million in the 2012 financial year. ANZ’s annual report has revealed while CEO Mike Smith’s base salary remained the same his total remuneration was aided by higher short-term cash incentives. In the same period Westpac Banking Corporation Limited’s (ASX:WBC) CEO Gail Kelly earned $9.6 million and Commonwealth Bank of Australia’s (ASX:CBA) CEO Ian Narev was paid $5.7 million while National Australia Bank Limited’s (ASX:NAB) CEO pay is set to be revealed today. Shares in ANZ Banking Group fell 1.62 per cent on Friday to finish the week at $23.66. 
Ex-dividends tomorrow
CSR Limited (ASX:CSR) with a 3 cent unfranked dividend
Orica Limited (ASX:ORI) with a 54 cent dividend, 44.45 per cent franked
Whitefield Limited (ASX:WHF) with an 8.5 cent fully franked dividend

Gold is up $0.90 to $US1,715 an ounce for the December contract on Comex.
Silver is down $0.30 to $32.37 for December.
Copper is down $0.06 at $3.45 a pound.
Oil is up $1.05 at $US86.92 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.