Outlook: RBA in focus on Melbourne Cup day

Market Reports

The SPI is pointing to a steady start for the Australian share market after Wall Street saw a lacklustre start to the week. Local investors could also be holding fire ahead of the Reserve Bank of Australia's (RBA) interest rate decision and the Melbourne Cup’s “race that stops a nation”. Analysts have widely tipped rates will stay on hold at a record low of 2.5 per cent when the decision is announced this afternoon.   
 
Global markets
 
Wall Street posted a soft start to the new trading month: The Dow Jones Industrial Average dipped 0.1 per cent to close at 17,366, the S&P 500 eased 0.01 per cent to close at 2,018 and the Nasdaq firmed 0.2 per cent to close at 4,639.
 
European markets started the week in the red: London's FTSE 100 dropped 0.9 per cent, France's CAC 40 fell 0.9 per cent and Germany's DAX lost 0.8 per cent.
 
Asian markets ended mixed on Monday: While Japan’s Nikkei remained closed for a public holiday, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng eased 0.3 per cent, and China’s Shanghai Composite rose 0.4 per cent.
 
Defying Wall Street’s record highs the Australian share market fell into the new trading month and closed 0.4 per cent down yesterday: The S&P/ASX 200 index dropped 20 points on Monday to finish at 5,507. On the futures market the SPI is 3 points lower. 
 
Currencies
 
The Australian dollar at 8:30am was buying $US0.8684, 54.37 Pence Sterling, 98.94 Yen and 69.57 Euro cents.
 
Economic news due out today
 
Reserve Bank of Australia: November board meeting and interest rate decision
 
Australian Bureau of Statistics: Retail trade and international trade in goods and services data for September
 
ANZ Banking Group (ASX:ANZ)-Roy Morgan: Weekly consumer confidence survey
 
Dun and Bradstreet: Business expectations survey 
 
Company news 
 
Telstra Corporation Limited (ASX:TLS) says its new 4G service will be called 4GX and include services provided over its new 700 megahertz spectrum. Australia’s biggest telco has also now switched on 4GX in parts of Hobart and Brisbane, adding to coverage in parts of Sydney, Adelaide, Perth, Darwin and 10 regional centres. Telstra says customers using some devices in 4GX areas will enjoy top speeds in more places and twice as fast as those available on its existing 4G. Shares in Telstra Corporation rose 0.71 per cent to close at $5.67 on Monday. 
 
Amcom Telecommunications Limited (ASX:AMM) is pushing ahead with its East Coast expansion strategy as it continues merger talks with Vocus Communications Limited (ASX:VOC). The telco has acquired 180 kilometres of fibre assets in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane from Megaport for $15 million. Amcom has also executed a 15-year fibre access deal with Sydney based network owner FirstPath to significantly increase its network reach. Shares in Amcom Telecommunications gained 4.04 per cent to close at $2.32 on Monday. 
 
Commodities 

Gold has fallen $1.80 to $US1,170 an ounce for the December contract on Comex. 
Silver has added $0.01 to $16.20 for December. 
Copper has lifted $0.02 to $3.06 a pound. 
Oil has dipped $1.76 to $US78.78 a barrel for December light crude in New York.

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