Outlook: Aus shares set for a weak open

Market Reports

US stocks closed little changed overnight with energy stocks weighing on the markets.  European markets were lower and commodity prices dipped across the board. Australian shares will find little strength on open as investors await the US Federal Reserve policy meeting on Wednesday which could signal the end of quantitative easing there. 
 
The figures

Wall Street closed mixed yesterday: The Dow Jones Industrial Average lifted 0.1 per cent to close at 16,818, the S&P 500 lost 0.2 per cent to close at 1,962 and the NASDAQ added 0.1 per cent to close at 4,486.
 
European markets closed lower: London’s FTSE lost 0.4 per cent, Paris slipped 0.8 per cent and Frankfurt retreated 1 per cent.
 
Asian markets closed mixed: Tokyo’s Nikkei added 0.6 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng lost 0.7 per cent, and China’s Shanghai Composite dipped 0.5 per cent.
 
The Australian share market closed higher yesterday: The S&P/ASX 200 Index closed 47 points up to finish at 5,459. On the futures market the SPI is 15 points down. 
 
Currencies

The Australian Dollar at 7:30AM was buying 88.02 US cents, 54.62 Pence Sterling, 94.88 Yen and 69.33 Euro cents.
 
Company news
 
In an aftermarket announcement yesterday, GUD Holdings Limited (ASX:GUD) says it has entered a joint venture with US-based Jarden Corporation. Jarden owns the international rights to the Sunbeam appliance brand of which GUD holds the Australia and New Zealand rights. Jarden will acquire 49 per cent of Sunbeam Australia and New Zealand while GUD will purchase 49 per cent of the Asian arm of its Jarden’s small appliance business JCS. The new business, commencing Nov 1 will be led by Sunbeam ANZ’s CEO Karen Hope and is expected to grow sales in the Asia Pacific region. Shares in GUD Holdings last traded 0.56 per cent lower at $7.08. 
 
Yowie Group Limited (ASX:YOW) says strong new customer growth is providing a positive outlook. In its first quarter activity report, Yowie says its brand is now on trial in 50 Walmart stores in Texas. Yowie’s chocolate products are now on trial to 1100 outlets with potential to roll out to 8500 stores. Sales are tracking well, outselling comparative products in some cases. A new Vice President of Sales for North America has been appointed and the company has entered a sales agency agreement for extended distribution. The company warns while the early performance is positive the national rollout across the US is a lengthy process. Yowie last traded 1 per cent softer at $0.495.
 
Commodities

Gold is down $2.50 to $US1,229 an ounce for the December contract on Comex. Silver is down $0.02 to $17.16 for December. Copper is up $0.02 at $3.06 a pound. Oil is down $0.01 at US$81.00 a barrel for November light crude in New York.