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News: Outlook: Global gains on easing tensions in Europe

  1. US and European markets lifted overnight as a ceasefire is agreed in the Ukraine and the Australian share market looks set to follow.
    Also in Europe negotiations for a compromise on Greece’s debt woes are progressing slowly as the country’s Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis met with euro area officials, Greece must arrange some sort of bailout extension by the end of February or it risks defaulting on its loans which would be disastrous for the eurozone. European leaders are currently meeting in Brussels where discussion will focus on Greek debt but also tensions over the Ukranian ceasefire that was agreed overnight.
    Locally today we’re expecting half year results from Newcrest and Sims Metals.

    Wall Street closed up yesterday: The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.6 per cent to close at 17,971, the S&P 500 added almost 1 per cent to close at 2,088 and the NASDAQ gained 1.2 per cent to close at 4,858.
    European markets closed up: London’s FTSE gained 0.15 per cent, Paris gained 1 per cent and Frankfurt is up 1.6 per cent.
    Asian markets closed up: Tokyo’s Nikkei added 1.85 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng pushed 0.4 per cent higher, and China’s Shanghai Composite is up 0.5 per cent.
    The Australian share market closed lower yesterday: The S&P/ASX 200 Index closed 26 points down to finish at 5,744. On the futures market the SPI is 30 points up. 
    Turning to currencies and the Australian Dollar at 8:20AM was buying $US0.7737 cents, 50.28 Pence Sterling, 92.06 Yen and 67.85 Euro cents.
    Economic news

    Due out today from the Australian Bureau of Statistics isLending finance for December.
    Company news
    Tassal Group Limited (ASX:TGR) has shown a 35 per cent increase in net profit in the first half on the back of increasing scale and operational efficiencies. The salmon farming company says profit pushed to $30.3 million in the six months to the end of December with revenue growing to $151 million. CEO Mark Ryan says the company’s focus is on driving domestic per capita consumption to maximize opportunities in the domestic market. Shares in Tassal closed 0.26 per cent up yesterday at $3.90
    Shares in Cue Energy Resources Limited (ASX:CUE) lifted yesterday as it recommends its shareholders reject a takeover offer from New Zealand Oil and Gas offering $0.10 per share. NZOG acquired almost 20 per cent of the company at the end of last year and is attempting to buy the remainder. The company says the premium offered is not sufficient but did note the falling oil price has led to material reductions in the valuations of other oil and gas companies. Shares in Cue closed 11.11 per cent up yesterday at $0.10

    Gold is up$1.90 to $US1,222 an ounce for the Aprilcontract on Comex.
    Silver is up $0.07 to $16.83 for March.
    Copper is up $0.06 at $2.60 a pound. Oil is up $2.35 at US$52.13 a barrel for March light crude in New York.

    1company is going ex-dividend today: Contango Microcap Limited(ASX:CTN) paying 4c, 50% franked.

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