The Australian share market is set to reverse some of its gains made on Friday, following a week of wild swings on Wall Street, ending with more selling as investors brace for a potential shift in Federal Reserve policy.
The choppy trading comes amid jitters from US investors ahead of the US Federal Reserve's policy board meeting on Wednesday. There’s speculation the Fed will soon wind back its third round of bond purchases but chairman Ben Bernanke has said repeatedly that any decision to pull back on stimulus will depend on how the economy performs.
Wall Street ended a wild week of trade lower: The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 106 points to close at 15,070, the S&P500 shed 10 points to close at 1,627 and the Nasdaq dipped by 22 points to close at 3,424.
European markets were in positive territory: London’s FTSE added 4 points, Paris gained 7 points and Frankfurt lifted by 33 points.
Asian markets were also higher after another volatile week: Tokyo’s Nikkei added 241 points, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 82 points, and China’s Shanghai Composite was up by 14 points.
Last week ended on a bright note with the Australian share market soaring 2 per cent on Friday. The S&P/ASX 200 index added 96 points, extending the weekly gain of 54 points to end at 4,792.
On the futures market the SPI is 26 points down.
The Australian Dollar at 7:20AM was buying $US95.67 cents, 60.9 Pence Sterling, 90.09 Yen and 71.69 Euro cents.
In economic news:The Australian Bureau of Statistics will today release its new motor vehicle sales data for May
Newly listed Virtus Health Limited (ASX:VRT)
plans to expand into Asia and grow at around four per cent annually over the long-term. The world's first publicly listed fertility service says four to five per cent growth is now a sustainable rate, down from the 12 per cent it achieved between 2004 and 2008 when IVF was funded by Medicare. Shares in Virtus lifted 0.48 per cent on Friday to close at $6.28.
Rio Tinto Limited (ASX:RIO)
is calling on business to be more transparent about their tax affairs after the global miner paid almost $9 billion in taxes in Australia last year. Rio's latest tax-paid report for 2012 shows the company paid $11.6 billion in taxes globally, including $8.9 billion in Australia. Shares in Rio gained 4.67 per cent on Friday to close at $53.98.
Fisher and Paykel Healthcare Corp Limited (ASX:FPH)
will pay 4.98 cents unfranked.
Gold is higher by $10.30 to $US1,388 an ounce for the August contract on Comex. Silver lifted $0.37 to $21.96 for July. Copper is up $0.02 at $3.20 a pound. Oil is up $1.16 at US$97.85 a barrel for July light crude in New York.