Outlook: ASX looks to lift after US jobs growth

Market Reports

Following two weekly gains the Australian share market looks to lift into the new week after global markets rallied on Friday. America’s monthly jobs numbers came in better than expected and Germany's benchmark index reached a record closing high. Strength in the US economy has pushed the Australian dollar under $US0.83 for the first time since 2010. Domestic jobs data will also be in focus this week with Australia’s official monthly employment report due on Thursday. 
 
US economic news
 
America’s economy added more jobs than expected last month while the jobless rate stayed unchanged. The Labor Department reports US employers created 321,000 jobs in November, exceeding expectations of about 230,000 jobs. The unemployment rate held steady at 5.8 per cent.

Global markets
 
Wall Street rose 0.4 per cent over last week and ended Friday on a high: The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.3 per cent to close at 17,959, the S&P 500 gained 0.2 per cent to close at 2,075 and the Nasdaq gained 0.2 per cent to close at 4,781.
 
European markets climbed 1.1 per cent over last week and extended gains on Friday: London's FTSE 100 gained almost 1 per cent, France's CAC 40 gained 2.2 per cent and Germany's DAX gained 2.4 per cent.
 
Asian markets jumped over last week and also ended Friday stronger: Japan’s Nikkei gained 0.2 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 0.7 per cent, and China’s Shanghai Composite gained 1.3 per cent.
 
The Australian share market dropped 0.6 per cent on Friday but still ended the week on positive territory: The S&P/ASX 200 index sank 33.5 points on Friday, trimming the weekly gain of 22.3 points to close at 5,335. On the futures market the SPI is 27 points higher. 
 
Currencies
 
After shedding about $US0.01 over last week the Australian dollar at 8:25am was buying $US0.8299, 53.32 Pence Sterling, 100.97 Yen and 67.58 Euro cents.
 
Economic news due out today
 
 ANZ Banking Group: Job Advertisements Series for November 
 
Company news
 
Qube Holdings Limited (ASX:QUB) announced an acquisition valued at about $74 million after the market closed on Friday. The logistics company says it has agreed to acquire New Zealand stevedoring and mashalling company ISO Limited who focus on the forest products industry. Earlier in the session Qube advised it has reached an agreement with Moorebank Intermodal Company to develop the Moorebank project in South Western Sydney. Shares in Qube Holdings rose 2.28 per cent on Friday to end the week at $2.24. 
 
Sino Gas & Energy Holdings Limited (ASX:SEH) told the market, after the market closed on Friday, it has appointed Glenn Corrie to the board as Managing Director from the first of January 2015. Mr Corrie joined the energy company as Chief Executive Officer in August. Chairman Philip Bainbridge says the board looks forward to working with Mr Corrie in his new capacity to manage the development of the company’s assets and deliver shareholder value. Shares in Sino Gas & Energy Holdings fell 5 per cent on Friday to end the week at $0.19. 

Commodities 

After falling about $US18 last week the price of gold has dropped $17.30 to $US1,190 an ounce for the February contract on Comex. 
Silver has lost $0.32 to $16.26 for March. 
Copper has eased $0.01 to $2.90 a pound. 
Oil has fallen $0.97 to $US65.84 a barrel for January light crude in New York.