Outlook: Aus shares tipped to dip

Market Reports

The Australian share market is expected to settle in negative territory at the open, after a subdued Wall Street session, as the latest round of corporate earnings failed to inspire investors.
There was little economic news to offer direction, with US stocks trading in a narrow range overnight.
Analysts say trade is choppy in the US because investors are weighing solid quarterly earnings against weaker profit outlooks.
Most are looking forward to the US Federal Reserve’s policy meeting next week, after which the central bank is expected to announce it will further taper its economic stimulus program.

Wall Street was mixed: The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 41 points to close at 16,374, the S&P 500 gained 1 point to close at 1,845 and the NASDAQ lifted by 17 points to close at 4,243.
European markets were mostly lower: London’s FTSE lost 8 points, Paris added 1 point and Frankfurt dropped 10 points.
Asian markets made small gains: Tokyo’s Nikkei added 25 points, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rose by 49 points, and China’s Shanghai Composite gained 43 points.
The Australian share market closed 0.2 per cent down yesterday after spending the session in negative territory. The S&P/ASX 200 index ended the session 12 points lower at 5,320. On the futures market the SPI is 22 points down. 

The Australian dollar has slipped against the greenback, but held on to most of the gains it made yesterday after better-than-expected inflation figures, meaning another cash rate cut is doubtful in the near term. At 8:15AM the Aussie was buying $US88.53 cents, 53.43 Pence Sterling, 92.53 Yen and 65.38 Euro cents.
Economic news

CBA will release its latest future business index report.
Company news
Aurora Oil & Gas Limited (ASX:AUT) has lifted its production in the December quarter. The shale oil and gas producer’s output totalled 2.27 million barrels of oil or equivalent in the three months to December 31, up 15 per cent from the last quarter and 46 per cent higher on the same period a year ago. Shares in Aurora dipped 0.36 per cent yesterday to close at $2.78.
Takeover target Warrnambool Cheese & Butter Factory Co (ASX:WCB) is set to make headlines again as early as today, as Murray Goulburn decides whether to sell its stake in the local cheese maker to Canadian dairy giant Saputo. A fast decision is expected to be made after Saputo yesterday confirmed if holds 52.7 per cent of WCB shares. Shares in Warrnambool Cheese & Butter Factory lifted by 1.18 per cent yesterday to $9.42.

Gold is down $3.20 to $US1,238.60 an ounce for the February contract on Comex. Silver is down $0.03 to $19.84 for March. Copper is down $0.01 at $3.34 a pound. Oil is up $1.76 at US$96.73 a barrel for March light crude in New York.

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