Outlook: Aus shares look up on US leads

Market Reports

A surprise contraction in US growth hasn’t managed to weigh on Wall St and Australian markets look poised to follow into the green today.
 
A forecast of US GDP growth for the year showed a 1 per cent drop seasonally adjusted, but investors appear not to be phased, suggesting the news is down to the harsh weather of the first quarter. The result was balanced by positive jobs data.
 
Attention today will be on Frank Lowy and tensions surrounding a  restructure of the Westfield group’s local and international businesses. 
 
Figures

Wall Street closed up yesterday: The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 66 points to close at 16,699, the S&P 500 added 10 points to close at 1,920 and the NASDAQ gained 23 points to close at 4,248.
 
European markets closed mixed: London’s FTSE gained 20 points, Paris lost 1 points and Frankfurt lost 2 points.
 
Asian markets closed mixed: Tokyo’s Nikkei added 11 points, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng lost 70 points, and China’s Shanghai Composite lost 10 points.
 
The Australian share market closed lower yesterday: The S&P/ASX 200 Index closed 8 points down to finish at 5,519. On the futures market the SPI is 10 points up. 
 
Currencies

Australian Dollar at 7:20AM was buying $US0.9309 cents, 55.71 Pence Sterling, 94.73 Yen and 68.45 Euro cents.
 
In economic news: Due out today from the Reserve Bank of Australia are the financial aggregates for April.
 
Company news
 
Reece Australia Limited (ASX:REH) has reported a 13.5 per cent lift in sales in the ten months to April. The plumbing and bathroom products supplier says improved trading performance and the integration of the Reece and Actrol businesses are behind the gains. Full year profit is forecast to be 3 to 5 per cent up on the previous year once foreign exchange and acquisition costs are taken into consideration. Shares in Reece closed 2.71 per cent up yesterday at $30.30. 
 
Downer EDI Limited (ASX:DOW) has rolled its 78th Waratah Train into passenger service on the Sydney Rail Network. The engineering and train building company says Waratah trains now make up around 40 per cent of Sydney’s passenger train fleet. CEO Grant Fenn says the performance of the Waratah trains has exceeded all expectations due to quality train design and the integration of complex systems. The company has a contract to maintain the fleet for 30 years from aided by their maintenance facility at Auburn. Shares in Downer closed 0.56 per cent down yesterday at $5.36.
 
Commodities

Gold is down $3.00 to $US1,256 an ounce for the June contract on Comex.
Silver is down $0.04 to $19.01 for July.
Copper is down $0.03 at $3.14 a pound.
Oil is up $0.86 at US$103.58 a barrel for July light crude in New York.
 
Ex-dividends

Aquaint Capital Limited (ASX:AQU) paying a 1 cent unfranked dividend

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