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News: Outlook: ASX reporting season ready to ramp up



  1. Following a weekly gain of more than 4 per cent the Australian share market is eyeing a steady start to the week as reporting season gets ready to ramp up. 
     
    Wall Street ended weaker on Friday after the release of America’s monthly jobs report showed bigger than expected jobs creation and a higher unemployment rate. The US economy’s nonfarm payrolls grew by 257,000 in January and the jobless rate rose to 5.7 per cent from 5.6 per cent at the end of last year.  
     
    Elsewhere in the world China’s exports have been shown to have unexpectedly fallen at the beginning of this year. Closer to home Australian politics will be in focus ahead of a possible Liberal Party leadership challenge this morning. 
     
    Global markets
     
    Wall Street ended a buoyant week of gains in the red on Friday: The Dow Jones Industrial Average dipped 0.3 per cent to close at 17,824, the S&P 500 dipped 0.3 per cent to close at 2,055 and the Nasdaq dipped 0.4 per cent to close at 4,744.
     
    European markets finished weaker on Friday: London's FTSE 100 fell 0.2 per cent, France's CAC 40 fell 0.3 per cent and Germany's DAX fell 0.5 per cent.
     
    Asian markets closed mixed at the end of last week: Japan’s Nikkei gained 0.8 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 0.4 per cent, and China’s Shanghai Composite dropped almost 2 per cent.
     
    The Australian share market closed higher for its twelfth straight session on Friday, representing a record run of gains: The S&P/ASX 200 index rose 9 points on Friday, widening the weekly gain of 232 points to close at 5,820. On the futures market the SPI is 6 points higher. 
     
    Currencies 
     
    The Australian dollar at 8:30am was buying $US0.7761, 50.99 Pence Sterling, 92.47 Yen and 68.73 Euro cents.
     
    Economic news due out today 
     
    ANZ Banking Group (ASX:ANZ): Job advertisements series for January
     
    Reporting season
     
    Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA) is expected to release its interim results on Wednesday and analysts are expecting another bumper result. Australia’s biggest bank is tipped to report a record profit of $4.56 billion in the first half of the 2015 financial year and increase its interim dividend to $2 per share. Over last year CBA delivered the largest ever bank profit in the country, increasing 12 per cent to $8.68 billion. Shares in Commonwealth Bank of Australia hit a record high last week but slipped 0.31 per cent on Friday to end the week at $92.98. 
     
    Rio Tinto Limited (ASX:RIO) is due to unveil its full year financial results on Thursday after earlier vowing to materially increase shareholder returns. Last month the global diversified beat its own production guidance and posted better than expected iron ore output and shipment growth in 2014. Over the prior 2013 financial year Rio Tinto rebounded from an annual loss to a profit of $US3.67 billion and hiked its full year dividend by 15 per cent. Shares in Rio Tinto firmed 0.66 per cent to close at $60.60 on Friday. 

    Ex-dividends 
     
    Echo Entertainment Group Limited (ASX:EGP) paying a 5 cent fully franked dividend 
     
    Commodities 

    Gold has shed $28.10 to $US1,235 an ounce for the April contract on Comex. 
    Silver has slipped $0.50 to $16.69 for March. 
    Copper has eased $0.01 to $2.58 a pound. 
    Oil has risen $1.21 to $US51.69 a barrel for March light crude in New York.

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