Outlook: Aus shares score positive US lead

Market Reports

by Lelde Smitts

The Australian share market looks to open in positive territory after Wall Street ended higher overnight. Rebounding from Tuesday’s losses US stocks lifted despite America’s growth figures showing the largest fall in five years. The Commerce Department reported America’s economy shrank 2.9 per cent in the first quarter of this year, more than the contraction of 1.8 per cent which was expected. Closer to home the economic calendar remains light with only official job vacancies numbers expected this morning and a number of companies will trade ex-dividend.  
 
Global markets
 
Wall Street finished higher on Wednesday: The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 49 points to close at 16,868, the S&P 500 rose 10 points to close at 1,960 and the Nasdaq rose 29 points to close at 4,380.
 
European markets ended lower on Wednesday: London's FTSE 100 fell 53 points, France's CAC 40 fell 58 points and Germany's DAX fell 70 points.
 
Asian markets also dropped on Wednesday: Japan’s Nikkei dropped 110 points, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng dropped 14 points, and China’s Shanghai Composite dropped 8 points.
 
The Australian share market retreated 0.6 per cent yesterday: The S&P/ASX 200 index fell 31 points on Wednesday to close at 5,402. On the futures market the SPI is pointing 7 points higher. 
 
Currencies 
 
The Australian dollar at 7:20am was buying $US0.9404, 55.4 Pence Sterling, 95.78 Yen and 69.02 Euro cents.
 
Economic news due out today 
 
Australian Bureau of Statistics: Job Vacancies index for the May quarter
 
Company news
 
Seven Group Holdings Limited (ASX:SVW) will pay up to $30 million to help fund Nexus Energy Limited (ASX:NXS) following its failed takeover of the company. The oil and gas junior headed into voluntary administration a fortnight ago after shareholders voted down Seven’s 2 cent per share takeover offer. Creditors have advised Seven will give Nexus the financial lifeline ahead of the next meeting of creditors likely to be held on August 11. Shares in Seven Group Holdings slipped 0.13 per cent to close at $7.42 on Wednesday. 
 
Stockland Limited (ASX:SGP) has bought an industrial property at Ingleburn in Sydney’s south-west for $72.5 million. The property developer says the acquisition is in a key strategic location in a well-established industrial precinct. Stockland believes the land provides the company with a combination of secure income and abundant opportunities for future redevelopment and improvement. Shares in Stockland rose 0.25 per cent to close at $4.00 on Wednesday. 
 
Commodities 
 
Gold has added $1.30 to $US1,322.60 an ounce for the August contract on Comex. 
Silver has risen $0.07 to $21.12 for July. 
Copper has lifted $0.02 to $3.17 a pound. 
Oil has gained $0.47 to $US106.50 a barrel for August light crude in New York.