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News: Outlook: Aus shares set to open flat




  1. Following weaker leads from US markets the Australian share market looks set to open relatively flat as reporting season continues. European markets continue to digest rhetoric from Greece regarding its position in the Eurozone ahead of the Europgroup meeting on Wednesday. 
     
    In China, January imports fell by the most in more than five years, down nearly 20 per cent from a year earlier while exports were down by just over 3 per cent. 
     
    Markets

    Wall Street closed lower: The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 0.5 per cent to close at 17,729, the S&P 500 lost 0.4 per cent to close at 2,047 and the NASDAQ lost 0.4 per cent to close at 4,726.
     
    European markets also closed lower: London’s FTSE dipped 0.2 per cent, Paris lost 0.9 per cent and Frankfurt shed 1.7 per cent.
     
    Asian markets closed mixed: Tokyo’s Nikkei added 0.4 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng slipped 0.6 per cent, and China’s Shanghai Composite gained 0.6 per cent.
     
    The Australian share market closed lower yesterday: The S&P/ASX 200 Index closed 5 points down to finish at 5,815. On the futures market the SPI is 7 points lower.  
     
    Currencies

    The Australian Dollar at 8:20AM was buying 78.08 cents, 51.32 Pence Sterling, 92.61 Yen and 68.96 Euro cents.
     
    Economic news

    Due out today from the Australian Bureau of Statistics is residential property prices for the December quarter. NAB’s monthly business survey and the latest weekly consumer confidence survey will also be digested today. 
     
    Company news
     
    Coventry Group Limited (ASX:CYG) has announced a whole of business strategic review and will cut around 100 jobs as part of a bid to return the business to profitability. As part of the restructure, Coventry will also close its Sydney and Adelaide distribution centres and sell its IT Solutions business. The initiative has been launched by new CEO Peter Caughey and the companys board is also reviewing the dividend policy of the group. Shares in Coventry Group Limited (ASX:CYG) closed 1.69 per cent stronger yesterday at $2.40.
     
    European Metals Holdings Limited (ASX:EMH) says that its Cinovec project in the Czech Republic has recorded a 175 per cent increase in inferred lithium resources tipping it into one of the top five hard rock deposits in the world. The project was originally a tin mine with a significant resource and potential for byproducts including tungsten and lithium. The company will now finish its Scoping Study which will identify the various commodities of the project and identify best mining techniques for extraction. Shares in European Metals Holdings Limited (ASX:EMH) leapt 27.66 per cent higher yesterday to close $0.06
     
    Ex dividends

    One company is going ex-dividend today, ResMed Incorporated (ASX:RMD) will pay $2.95 per share un-franked. 
     
    Commodities

    Gold is up $5.20 to $US1,240 an ounce for the April contract on Comex. Silver is up $0.30 to $17.00 for March. Copper is down $0.01 at $2.58 a pound. Oil is up $1.03 at US$52.72 a barrel for March light crude in New York.

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