The Australian share market is set to make a comeback from yesterday’s heavy falls, following US stocks higher on solid consumer confidence figures and some strong corporate earnings reports.
US stocks climbed as investors celebrated positive results from Pfizer, Ford Motor and American Airlines.
That helped to numb the blow from Apple, with shares tumbling close to 8 per cent after the tech giant forecast a decline in revenue in the current quarter despite its plans to launch the iPhone in China.
US economic news
US economic news also drove markets higher, with consumer confidence reaching a five month high of 80.7 in January, up from 77.5 in December. Meantime, the S&P Case-Shiller home price index lifted by 13.8 per cent in November.
The Australian dollar is holding above 87 US cents as traders await the latest announcement from the US Federal Reserve regarding its bond buying policy. At 8:15AM the Aussie was buying $US87.76 cents, 52.94 Pence Sterling, 90.32 Yen and 64.23 Euro cents.
Wall Street was back in the black: The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 91 points to close at 15,929, the S&P 500 added 11 points to close at 1,793 and the NASDAQ lifted by 14 points to close at 4,098.
European markets were also in positive territory, due in part to data showing the UK economy expanded at its strongest pace in 7 years, with gross domestic product rising 1.9 per cent: London’s FTSE gained 22 points, Paris lifted by 41 points and Frankfurt added 58 points.
Asian markets were mixed: Tokyo’s Nikkei dropped 26 points, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng shed 15 points, but China’s Shanghai Composite added 5 points.
The Australian share market sank 1.3 per cent yesterday after being knocked about by negative offshore leads. The S&P/ASX 200 index dropped 66 points to finish at 5,175. On the futures market the SPI is 2 points higher.
Milton Corporation Limited (ASX:MLT)
has inked a deal to buy an unlisted investment company with total assets of $14 million. The listed investment firm says it will consolidate the investments in to its portfolio on completion of the purchase on January 31. Shares in Milton Corporation dropped 0.23 per cent yesterday to close at $4.27.
Treasury Wine Estates Limited (ASX:TWE)
shares have been placed in trading halt to allow management to review its half year results. Media reports say investors are bracing for a fresh profit downgrade amid weaker than expected sales. The halt will remain in place until tomorrow when an announcement is released to the market. Shares in Treasury Wine Estates last traded at $4.55.
Centrex Metals Limited (ASX:CXM)
will pay 5 cents per share fully franked.
Gold is down $12.60 to $US1,251 an ounce for the February contract on Comex. Silver is down $0.29 to $19.50 for March. Copper is down $0.01 at $3.25 a pound. Oil is up $1.69 at US$97.41 a barrel for March light crude in New York.