Wall Street pares losses at close: Aus shares set for positive start

Market Reports

by Anna Napoli

Australian shares look set to edge higher at the open despite a mixed session in the US on Monday. Wall Street pared losses at the close as investors looked ahead to the start of earnings season. Boeing and General Electric led the declines on the Dow Jones shedding more than 4 per cent and 5 per cent respectively after both stocks were downgraded by investment banks. Monday's declines came after two consecutive weeks of gains for US markets on the back of trade talks progress between the US and China, and, strong jobs numbers released last Friday. Elsewhere in the markets, US bond yields were a little higher and oil hit another 5-month high on the back of fighting in Libya threatening supply.

Markets

Taking a look at global markets Wall Street closed mixed yesterday: The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 0.3 per cent lower at 26,341, the S&P 500 added 0.1 per cent to 2896 and the NASDAQ gained 0.2 per cent to 7954.

European markets closed mixed: London’s FTSE added 0.1 per cent, Paris lost 0.1 per cent and Frankfurt fell 0.4 per cent.

Asian markets closed mixed, Tokyo’s Nikkei fell 0.2 per cent,Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 0.5 per cent and China’s Shanghai Composite dropped 0.1 per cent.

Locally, the SPI futures are up 10 points. Yesterday the Australian share market closed 0.7 per higher or 40 points at 6221.

Local economic news

Today the ABS releases the lending to households and businesses figures.

Company news

IPH (ASX:IPH) has upped its bid for takeover target Xenith IP Group. The new IPH offer is a combination of cash and IPH shares valued at $2.15 per Xenith share. The Revised proposal follows "constructive discussions between the companies regarding key terms. Xenith last month rejected IPH's initial offer saying the $2.02 bid was not superior to a merger with IPH rival Qantm. The increased bid comes after a recent rally in Xenith's share price. IPH says the revised proposal provides compelling benefits for Xenith’s shareholders, its leading IP attorneys and other stakeholders. Shares is IPH Limited (ASX:IPH) closed 1.3 per cent higher yesterday at $6.99.

Currencies

One Australian Dollar at 7:25 AM was buying 71.23 US cents, 54.56 Pence Sterling, 79.41 Yen and 63.26 Euro cents.

Commodities

Iron Ore futures suggest a 1.7 per cent gain
Gold has added $6.00 to US$1302 an ounce.
Silver has gained $0.13 to US$15.22 an ounce.
Oil was $1.38 higher at US$64.46 a barrel.