Outlook: ASX gets set for reporting season

Market Reports

After a gain of almost 1 per cent last week the SPI is pointing to a lower start for the Australian share market ahead of local reporting season. European markets ended a positive week of gains in the red as the EU moved closer to tighten sanctions against Russia. Wall Street was weighed down by disappointing earnings results, including Amazon’s larger than expected quarterly loss. 
 
This week attention will turn to local earnings reports and a series of key economic reports locally and internationally. In the spotlight the US Federal Reserve is again expected to cut its monthly bond buying program by an extra $US10 billion. 
 
Global markets
 
Wall Street was steady over last week after losing ground on Friday: The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 0.7 per cent to close at 16,961, the S&P 500 dropped 0.5 per cent to close at 1,978 and the Nasdaq dropped 0.5 per cent to close at 4,450.
 
European markets gained over last week but fell on Friday: London's FTSE 100 fell 0.4 per cent, France's CAC 40 fell 1.8 per cent and Germany's DAX fell 1.5 per cent.
 
Asian markets jumped over last week with Japan up more than 1 per cent and China soaring more than 3 per cent: On Friday Japan’s Nikkei rose 1.1 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rose 0.3 per cent, and China’s Shanghai Composite rose 1 per cent.
 
A bullish seven day winning streak came to a standstill for the Australian share market on Friday: The S&P/ASX 200 index slipped 4 points on Friday, trimming the weekly advance of 52 points to end the week at 5,584. On the futures market the SPI is 8 points lower. 
 
Currencies 
 
The Australian dollar at 7:30am was buying $US0.9396, 55.37 Pence Sterling, 95.66 Yen and 69.99 Euro cents.
 
Company news
 
Commonwealth Bank of Australia’s (ASX:CBA) broking arm Commsec has called the beginning of the Australian reporting season with Leighton Holdings Limited (ASX:LEI) expected to kick-off the earnings results today. Commsec says it will be a slow climb in terms of the number of companies issuing results with the key days being August 13, 19 and 20. Commsec also advices Energy Resources of Australia Limited (ASX:ERA) will report on Thursday and ResMed Inc (ASX:RMD) will issue its quarterly accounts on Friday. Supermarket giant Woolworths (ASX:WOW) is scheduled to release sales figures on Wednesday. Shares in Commonwealth Bank rose 0.33 per cent on Friday to end the week at $82.28. 
 
The operator of the Brisbane Broncos Rugby League Football Team Brisbane Broncos Limited (ASX:BBL) has flagged a profit fall. The company expects to report a before tax profit of about $2.3 million for in the first six months of this year, down from $2.7 million last year. Brisbane Broncos says the decrease is mainly due to costs relating from the investigation into allegations of possible salary cap irregularities and restructuring costs. The company has also advised current trends and second half restructuring costs are expected to result in full year profits before tax decreasing by double digits over last year. Shares in Brisbane Broncos rose 3.7 per cent to end the week at $0.28 ahead of the announcement. 
 
Ex-dividends today
 
Countplus Limited (ASX:CUP) paying a 3 cent fully franked dividend
 
Ex-dividends this week
 
Hastings High Yield (ASX:HHY) paying a 25.8 cent unfranked dividend
Dicker Data Limited (ASX:DDR) paying a 0.5 cent fully franked dividend
Katana Capital (ASX:KAT) paying a 1.5 cent, 50 per cent franked dividend
Singapore Telecommunications (ASX:SGT) paying a 10 cent unfranked dividend
 
Commodities 
 
Gold has gained $12.50 to $US1,303 an ounce for the August contract on Comex. 
Silver has risen $0.22 to $20.64 for September. 
Copper has added $0.02 to $3.24 a pound. 
Oil has lifted $0.02 to $US102.09 a barrel for September light crude in New York.

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