Outlook: ASX gears up for RBA & earnings

Market Reports

The SPI is pointing to a steady start for the Australian share market ahead of the Reserve Bank of Australia's (RBA) interest rate decision. Following last week’s falls Wall Street rebounded into the new week on Monday on the back of positive earnings reports. Closer to home Australian investors will also get financial results with full year accounts expected from Cochlear Limited (ASX:COH), Transurban Group (ASX:TCL) and Downer EDI Limited (ASX:DOW)The spotlight will be on the RBA this afternoon when the central bank is again expected to keep rates on hold at a record low of 2.5 per cent. 
 
Global markets
 
Wall Street began the week with a bounce: The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.5 per cent to close at 16,569, the S&P 500 gained 0.7 per cent to close at 1,939 and the Nasdaq gained 0.7 per cent to close at 4,384.
 
European markets started the week mixed: London's FTSE 100 fell 0.02 per cent, France's CAC 40 rose 0.3 per cent and Germany's DAX fell 0.6 per cent.
 
Asian markets closed mixed on Monday: Japan’s Nikkei lost 0.3 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng added 0.3 per cent, and China’s Shanghai Composite added 1.7 per cent.
 
The Australian share market spent yesterday in the red to start the week 0.3 per cent lower: The S&P/ASX 200 index lost 16 points down to finish at 5,541 on Monday. On the futures market the SPI is 4 points higher. 
 
Currencies 
 
The Australian dollar at 7:30am was buying $US0.9336, 55.39 Pence Sterling, 95.75 Yen and 69.57 Euro cents.
 
Economic news due out today 
 
Reserve Bank of Australia: August interest rate decision
 
Australian Bureau of Statistics: International trade in goods and services for June
 
Dun and Bradstreet: Business expectations survey
 
Australian Industry Group: Performance of Services Index for July
 
Company news
 
Sirius Resources NL (ASX:SIR) has inked a deal with the traditional owners of the land containing the Nova Nickel Project in Western Australia. The mining company and the Ngadju People have signed the mining agreement which will now enable the development of the project and pave the way for the grant of the Nova Mining Lease. Sirius says the grant of the Nova Mining Lease will trigger the start of the remaining development permitting and approval processes. Shares in Sirius Resources fell 2.74 per cent to close at $3.90 on Monday ahead of the announcement. 
 
Drug maker Pharmaxis Limited (ASX:PXS) has filed a lawsuit against its financial backer NovaQuest. The pharmaceutical company says it is taking the action in response to an attempt by NovaQuest to back out of its funding obligations. Last month NovaQuest pulled funding for Pharmaxis’ cystic fibrosis drug which in turn hit the company’s stock price. Shares in Pharmaxis dropped 3.33 per cent to $0.058 on Monday following the announcement. 
 
Ex-dividends

Australian Masters Corp Bond No.5 Limited (ASX:AKY) paying a 63 cent fully franked dividend
Australian Masters Yield Fund Number 1 Limited (ASX:AYD) paying an 80 cent fully franked dividend
Australian Masters Yield Fund Number 2 Limited (ASX:AYH) paying a 94 cent fully franked dividend
Australian Masters Yield Fund Number 3 Limited (ASX:AYJ) paying a 120 cent fully franked dividend
Australian Masters Yield Fund Number 4 Limited (ASX:AYK) paying an 85 cent fully franked dividend
Djerriwarrh Investments Limited (ASX:DJW) paying a 16 cent fully franked dividend
Finbar Group Limited (ASX:FRI) paying a 6 cent fully franked dividend
 
Commodities 
 
Gold has fallen $5.90 to $US1,289 an ounce for the December contract on Comex. 
Silver has lost $0.14 to $20.23 for September.
Copper has added $0.03 to $3.24 a pound.
Oil has gained $0.41 to $US98.29 a barrel for September light crude in New York.

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