Outlook: Aus shares to head higher in early trade

Market Reports

The Australian share market looks set for a solid open after US stocks jumped more than 1 per cent overnight, with investors buoyed by a rebound in gold prices and strong earnings from Coca-Cola and Johnson & Johnson.
 
US economic news

The US Consumer Price Index fell 0.2 per cent in March for the first time in four months and a separate report showed housing starts rose 7 per cent last month to an annual rate of  over 1 million units -  the highest in nearly five years.
 
Figures

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 158 points to close at 14,757, the S&P 500 added 22 points to close at 1,575 and the NASDAQ was up 48 points to close at 3,265.
 
European markets closed lower: London’s FTSE lost 39 points, Paris lost 25 points and Frankfurt lost 30 points.
 
Asian markets closed mixedHong Kong’s Hang Seng lost 101 points, Tokyo’s Nikkei is down by 54 and China’s Shanghai Composite added 13 points.
 
The Australian share market closed 0.3 per cent down yesterday, weighed by the materials sector and most notably, gold. The S&P/ASX 200 index closed 17 points down to finish at 4,951.
 
On the futures market the SPI is 33 points higher.

Currencies

The Australian Dollar at 7:20AM was buying  $US1.038 cents, 67.64 Pence Sterling, 101.47 Yen and 78.85 Euro cents.
 
Economic news

The Westpac-Melbourne Institute will release its economic activity index
 
Company news

BHP Billiton Limited(ASX:BHP) has taken issue with the federal government’s second round of reforms to the Fair Work Act. According to media reports, the resources giant says the changes will force miners to respond to requests for flexible working hours and initiate consultations for every roster change. In a submission to a Senate inquiry over the reforms BHP’s head of HR Gary Brown said the reforms would be unmanageable and chaotic for an employer to discuss every roster change with staff. Shares in BHP closed down 0.5% yesterday at $32.15.
 
CVC Limited (ASX:CVC) ownedNine Entertainment has suggested draft amendments to the Broadcasting Services Act in a move to pave the way for its proposed merger with Southern Cross Austereo Group Limited (ASX:AEO). The proposed $4 billion merger has faced opposition, from other free-to-air broadcasters Seven West Media, Ten Network and WIN Corp, who have argued the deal would jeopardise local news services. But the latest proposal from Nine seeks to strengthen its promise to protect local news and replaces a draft undertaking submitted last month to the media regulator that was denounced as not legally enforceable. Shares in CVC closed flat at $1.02.
 
Ex-dividends
Cadence Capital Limited (ASX:CDM) will pay 6 cents fully franked
WAM Capital Limited(ASX:WAM) will pay 6 cents fully franked

Commodities

Gold is up $26.30 to $US1,387 an ounce for the June contract on Comex. Silver is up $0.03 to $23.63 for May. Copper is up $0.03 at $3.31 a pound. Oil is up $0.01 at $US88.72 a barrel for Maylight crude in New York.
 

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