Outlook: Aus shares eye further gains

Market Reports

The Australian share market has a positive lead from US markets which ended their week on a high. Strong earnings reports and easing concerns over the possible spread of the Ebola virus in the US helped the markets close out a positive week on Friday. Looking ahead, the Federal Reserve Bank will meet this week with expectations the central bank to begin wrapping up its quantitative easing program. In Europe, regulators have revealed that up to 25 of the Eurozone’s 130 top banks have failed a financial ‘stress test’ however moves are underway to remedy their situation.
 
Markets

Wall Street closed higher on Friday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.8 per cent to close at 16,805, the S&P500 lifted 0.7 per cent to close at 1,965 and the Nasdaq firmed 0.7 to close at 4,484.
 
European markets closed down: London’s FTSE lost 0.5 per cent, Paris dipped 0.7 per cent and Frankfurt fell 0.7 per cent.
 
Asian markets were mixed: Tokyo’s Nikkei rose 1 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng slid 0.1 per cent, and China’s Shanghai Composite ended almost flat. 
 
The Australian share market closed higher across all sectors on Friday: The S&P/ASX 200 Index closed 29 points up to finish at 5,412. On the week it was up 141 points. On the futures market the SPI is 18 points stronger. 
 
Currencies

The Australian Dollar at 7.30AM was buying 88.04 US cents, 54.77 Pence Sterling, 95.42 Yen and 69.48 Euro cents.
 
Company news
 
Karoon Gas Australia Limited (ASX:KAR) says it has taken possession of the Olinda Star drilling rig from Petrobras. The rig is expected to be on location in the Santos Basin this week with testing of the Kangaroo-2 appraisal well beginning in the second week of November. The drilling will test the size of the oil column and flow rates as well as the presence and size of a possible oil cap. In other news, CEO Edward Munks says he feels the company feels that it has enough support from shareholders to avoid a board shake up during today’s AGM. Shares in Karoon Gas Australia Limited (ASX:KAR) closed 0.33 per cent up on Friday at $3.01. 
 
BHP Billiton Limited (ASX:BHP) has committed $20 million over the next five years to the Telethon Kids Institute in WA. The biggest pledge in the fundraiser’s history, the money will go towards improving the health and well being of children in Western Australia. A $4 million installment kicked off the annual Western Australian Telethon on Saturday night. The Telethon has raised more than $154 million for medical research and support for children and their families since 1968. $1 million of each $4 million donation will be set aside for a new program to focus on Aboriginal health issues in the Pilbara. Shares in BHP Billiton Limited (ASX:BHP) closed 0.3 per cent higher on Friday at $33.74. 
 
Ex-Dividends

2 companies are going ex-dividend today: Countplus Limited (ASX:CUP) will pay a dividend of 2c fully franked and Katana Capital Limited (ASX:KAT) will pay a dividend of 1.5 cents un-franked

Commodities

Gold is up $2.70 to $US1,232 an ounce for the December contract on Comex. Silver is up $0.02 to $17.18 for December. Copper is down $0.01 at $3.04 a pound. Oil is down $1.08 at US$81.01 a barrel for December light crude in New York.