News: Outlook: Fiscal cliff remains in focus

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    On the day before Christmas the unresolved US fiscal cliff will again remain in focus for the Australian share market. The SPI is pointing to a positive start to the holiday shortened week despite US indices retreating almost 1 per cent at the end of last week amid fears the US will fail to avert automatic tax hikes and spending cuts due to come into effect next week. 



    Wall Street gained over last week but fell on Friday: The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 121 points to close at 13,191, the S&P500 fell 14 points to close at 1,430 and the Nasdaq fell 29 points to close at 3,021.


    European markets also dropped at the end of last week: London’s FTSE dropped 18 points, Paris dropped 5 points added Frankfurt dropped 36 points.


    Asian markets also ended lower at the end of last week: Hong Kong’s Hang Seng lost 153 points, Tokyo’s Nikkei lost 99 and China’s Shanghai Composite lost 15 points.


    The Australian share mark ended a strong week of gains in negative territory on Friday: The S&P/ASX 200 index lost 11 points on Friday, trimming the weekly gain of 41 points to finish at 4,624. On the futures market the SPI is 25 points higher. 



    The Australian Dollar at 8:15AM was buying $US1.04 cents, 64.34 Pence Sterling, 87.78 Yen and 78.92 Euro cents. 

    Company news

    Telstra Corporation Limited (ASX:TLS) has reportedly started refunding about $30 million to customers after realising it has been over-charging global roaming services since 2006. According to Fairfax Media Australia’s largest telco only realised it had incorrectly calculated overseas data charges when it conducted an audit earlier this year. A Telstra spokesperson has blamed international carriers and says it now has steps in place to prevent further multiple charging. Shares in Telstra Corporation dipped 0.23 per cent on Friday, finishing the week at $4.34. 


    Shares in Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA) hit an all time high at the end of last week against a benchmark index gain of 0.3 per cent. Australia’s biggest bank’s stock lifted to $62.28 on Friday afternoon from a previous high of $62.16 at the end of 2007. CBA generated a record net profit of $7.1 billion in the 2012 financial year. Shares in Commonwealth Bank of Australia finished Friday 0.8 per cent higher at $62.00. 



    Gold is up $14.20 to $US1,660 an ounce for the February contract on Comex.

    Silver is up $0.52 to $30.20 for March.

    Copper is up $0.03 at $3.57 a pound.

    Oil is down $1.47 at $US88.66 a barrel for February light crude in New York.

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