News: Outlook: Aus shares look to wipe out gains

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    The Australian share market looks to wipe out yesterday’s gains after reignited debt fears in Europe sent Wall Street plummeting. Speculation that France could be next to lose its credit rating spooked investors in Europe and the US. The price of gold futures has surged past a record $US1800.   

     

    US economic news



    The Treasury Department has revealed that the US is running a budget deficit of $US1.1 trillion, or $AUD964 billion, to date in the current fiscal year. 



    Figures



    On Wednesday the Dow Jones Industrial Average sunk 520 points to close at 10,720, the S&P500 shed 52 points to 1,121 and the NASDAQ slid 101 points to close at 2,381.



    European stocks dropped: London’s FTSE closed 158 points down, Paris was down 173 and Frankfurt was down 304 points. 



    To Asian markets, stocks closed higher: Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rose 453, Tokyo Nikkei was added 94 and China’s Shanghai Composite lifted 23 points.

     

    The Australian share market rallied 2.6 per cent on Wednesday: The S&P/ASX200 Index advanced 107 points to close at 4,141. On the futures market the SPI is down 99 points.

     

    Currencies



    The Australian Dollar at 7:30AM was buying $1.0179 US cents, 63.13 Pence Sterling, 78.24 Yen and 71.81 Euro cents.



    Economic news



    Due out today from the Australian Bureau of Statistics is labour force data for July.



    Company news



    Yesterday shares in Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA) rose 2.01 per cent to close at $48.23, that was on the same day Australia’s biggest bank revealed a record full year cash profit of $6.8 billion. Speaking after, outgoing CEO Ralph Norris said that he does not think that the global financial crisis is over. Mr Norris warned that the volatility that has occurred over the last week, and past several months, could stretch on into the next years. In the first half of its 2011 financial year CBA reported a net profit of $3 billion.



    Shares in BHP Billiton Limited’s (ASX:BHP) gained 3.64 per cent on Wednesday, finishing at $38.40. BHP’s Chairman, Jac Nasser, has painted a brighter picture for Australia’s economic future. Speaking in Sydney yesterday, Mr Nasser said Australians should feel quietly confident, but not complacent, about the country’s ability to manage through what is playing out in the northern hemisphere. Mr Nasser also said he remains very confident about the medium to long-term China growth story. In the first half of its 2011 financial year, BHP Billiton generated a net profit of $10.5 billion.



    Ex-dividends



    Four companies are going ex-dividend today: AMCIL with a $0.04 cent fully franked dividend, Advanced Share Registry with a $0.02 cent fully franked dividend, BKI Investment company with a $0.04 cent fully franked dividend, and, Navitas with a $0.12 cent fully franked dividend. Among those coming up tomorrow are AFIC, Alesco Corporation and Coca-Cola Amatil.



    Commodities



    Gold is up $41.30 to $US1,784 an ounce for the December contract on Comex, silver is up $1.44 to $39.33 for September and copper is down $0.08 at $3.89 a pound. Oil is up $1.03 at $80.33 a barrel for September light crude in New York.


 
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