Outlook: Shares set to open the week higher January 17, 2011 08:23 AM
The Australian share market is expected to open the week higher today thanks to positive offshore leads. Wall St celebrated the latest earnings results from investment banking giant JP Morgan and also cheered encouraging industrial production figures on Friday night. The initial enthusiasm is expected to wane as market players look out for latest updates on the floods across Australia.
US economic news: On Friday, the Federal Reserve reported that US industrial production increased 0.8 per cent in December, after having risen 0.3 per cent in November. For the fourth quarter as a whole, industrial production increased at an annual rate of 2.4 per cent.
On Friday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average, closed 55 points higher to 11,787. S&P500 gained 9 points to close 1,293 and the NASDAQ up 20 points to close 2,755.
European stocks were mixed: London’s FTSE fell 22 points, Paris up 8 and Frankfurt was flat.
To Asian markets, stocks were mixed: Hong Kong’s Hang Seng up 44 points, Tokyo down 91 points and China’s Shanghai Composite down 36 points.
The Australian share market finished stronger on Friday. The S&P/ASX 200 Index lifted 6 points to close at 4,802 and on the futures market the SPI was up 11 points.
Currencies: Aussie Dollar at 7:35AM was buying 99.14 US cents, 62.49 Pence Sterling, 82.09 Yen and 74.01 Euro cents.
Local economic news: The Australian Bureau of Statistics will be releasing its latest round of building data as well as a private-sector measure of inflation.
Company news: On Friday shares in Qantas Airways Ltd (ASX:QAN) closed 0.4 per cent lower at $2.51. Qantas has experienced another engine failure, this time as it was preparing to take off at Sydney Airport. On Saturday, flight QF11 to Los Angeles, carrying 344 passengers was preparing to take off when one of its engines’ suffered a complete failure. Passengers described hearing a ‘loud bang’ before seeing black smoke pour out of the crippled engine. A spokeswoman for Qantas said a replacement aircraft was arranged for all passengers. For the year ended 30 June 2010, Qantas reported a net profit of $116 million.
On Friday shares in Hutchison Telecommunications (Australia) Ltd (ASX:HTA) closed 0.04 per cent lower at $0.095. Hutchison’s subsidiary Vodafone has moved to urgently overhaul its security systems, according to a report in Fairfax Media. The newspaper reports that a series of breaches lead the firm to order daily password changes and scrap shared access logons. Last week, Vodafone fired a number of its staff in New South Wales for hacking into databases to illegally access customer information. The company has launched an investigation to determine whether any of its employees sold customer database passwords to criminals or released them on the internet. For the half year ended 30 June 2010, Hutchison reported a net profit of $17.9 million.
Ex-dividends: There are two companies going ex-dividend today. Euroz Ltd (ASX:EZL) with a 3 cent fully franked dividend and Merchant House International Ltd (ASX:MHL) with a half cent unfranked dividend.
Commodities: Gold is down $26.50 to $US1,360 an ounce for the February contract on Comex, silver is down $0.94 to $28.32 for March and copper is up $0.04 cents to $4.41 a pound. Oil is up $0.14 at $US91.54 a barrel for February light crude in New York.
Outlook: Shares receive mixed lead from Wall St January 05, 2011 12:00 AM
The Australian share market is expected to open flat today after receiving a mixed lead from offshore trading overnight. US stocks fell after a sell-off in commodity prices hit resource shares and concerns about supermarket profits affected consumer stocks.
On Tuesday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average, closed 28 higher to 11,691. S&P500 is down 2 points to 1,270 and the NASDAQ is down 10 points to 2,681.
European stocks were mixed: London’s FTSE was up 114, Paris is up 15 and Frankfurt is down 14.
To Asian markets, stocks were higher: Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was up 232, Tokyo’s Nikkei was up 169 and China’s Shanghai Composite was up 45.
The Australian share market finished flat on Tuesday. The S&P/ASX 200 Index lost 3 points to close at 4,743. On the futures market the SPI is up 3 points.
Currencies: The Aussie Dollar at 8:40am was buying just over $US1, 64.56 Pence Sterling, 82.53 Yen and 75.62 Euro cents.
Economic news: The Housing Industry Association is due to release its data on new home sales in November.
Company news: On Tuesday shares in Leighton Holdings Ltd (ASX:LEI) closed 1.2 per cent lower at $30.41. Spanish construction giant ACS has increased its share in Leighton’s parent company, Hochtief, to 30 per cent, taking a key step in its takeover bid. Yesterday, ACS said that under its takeover bid it has added 2.1 million shares to the 20.9 million it already controlled, giving the Spanish company control of 30.34 per cent. ACS says other shareholders still have between January 5 and January 18 to accept its latest offer to nine ACS shares for every five Hochtief shares. For the year ended 30 June 2010, Leighton reported a net profit of $615 million.
Yesterday, shares in UXC Ltd (ASX:UXC) closed 7.22 per cent lower at $0.45. IT service provider UXC’s new management has flagged intentions to sell off two of its underperforming business units in order to restore shareholder value in the company. UXC’s board has accepted a proposal by its newly-appointed managing director Cris Nicolli, who plans to divest its environmental services operations arm and its retail solutions business as soon as possible. UXC has also flagged operational losses and a $7 million write-down in its first-half results as a result of the divestment. For the year ended 30 June 2010, UXC reported a net loss of $2.8 million.
Ex-dividends: There are four companies going ex-dividend today which are iShares MSCI BRIC with a 2.97 cent unfranked dividend, iShares MSCI Emerging Markets with a 2.1 cent unfranked dividend, Programmed Maintenance Services Ltd with a 3 cent fully-franked dividend and SPDR S&P/ASX 200 Fund with a dividend amount to be advised.
Commodities: Gold is down $44.10 to $US1,378 an ounce for the February contract on Comex, silver is down $1.62 at $29.51 for March and copper is down $0.09 to $4.37 a pound and oil is down $2.17 at $89.38 a barrel for February light crude in New York.
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