Outlook: Aus shares set to open higher

Market Reports

With gains in US markets yesterday on the back of positive manufacturing data the Australian share market looks set to follow and will open slightly higher today.

Global Markets
 
Wall Street closed up yesterday: The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 75 points to close at 16,533, the S&P 500 added 13 points to close at 1,886 and the NASDAQ gained 69 points to close at 4,268.
 
European markets closed up: London’s FTSE gained 54 points, Paris gained 35 points and Frankfurt gained 48 points.
 
Asian markets closed mixed: Tokyo’s Nikkei lost 36 points, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng added 297 points, and China’s Shanghai Composite added 14 points.

The Australian share market closed lower yesterday: The S&P/ASX 200 Index closed 6 points down to finish at 5,389. On the futures market the SPI is 27 points up.
 
Currencies

The Australian Dollar at 7:15AM was buying $US0.9248 cents, 55.62 Pence Sterling, 95.91 Yen and 67.06 Euro cents.
 
Economic News

Due out today from the Australian Bureau of Statistics are building approvals figures for February and also from the ABS, job vacancies for February. 
 
Company News

Metgasco Limited (ASX:MEL) has responded to a hoax media release which suggested it was going to stop conducting unconventional gas activities in the Clarence Moreton Basin. The gas explorer says there is no substance to the hoax media release and it intends to continue its conventional and unconventional gas exploration and development activities. Shares in Metgasco fell 1.06 per cent on Tuesday to finish at 0.093. 
 
Affinity Education Group Limited (ASX:AFJ) has tied up the $1.7 million acquisition of 2 of the child care centres relating to its purchase of 7 centres mentioned last week. The provider of education and child care last week inked deals to acquire seven childcare centres for about $8 million which it said were conditional on approvals. Shares in Affinity Education Group dipped 1.03 per cent on Tuesday to finish at $1.435. 
 
Ex-dividends

The only company trading ex-dividend today is Naos Emerging Opportunities Company Limited (ASX:NCC) paying a 2.75 cent fully franked dividend. 
 
Commodities

Gold is down $3.80 to $US1,280 an ounce for the June contract on Comex.
Silver is down $0.06 to $19.69 for May.
Copper is up $0.01 at $3.03 a pound.
Oil is down $1.84 at US$99.74 a barrel for May light crude in New York.