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News: Outlook: Oil price gains to fuel ASX rally



  1. The Australian share market is set to extend yesterday’s buoyant gains and jump into the session. Positive leads come after the price of oil advanced more than 3 per cent overnight and boosted US and European markets. Global markets were also encouraged by a possible Greek debt deal which lifted the nation’s benchmark index more than 11 per cent. Closer to home the Australian dollar has recovered slightly from a six-year low after the central bank’s rate cut yesterday. 
     
    Global markets
     
    Wall Street surged on Tuesday: The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 1.8 per cent to close at 17,666, the S&P 500 jumped 1.4 per cent to close at 2,050 and the Nasdaq jumped 1.1 per cent to close at 4,728.
     
    European markets moved higher on Tuesday: London's FTSE 100 gained 1.3 per cent, France's CAC 40 gained 1.1 per cent and Germany's DAX gained 0.6 per cent.
     
    Asian markets ended mixed on Tuesday: Japan’s Nikkei fell 1.3 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng added 0.3 per cent, and China’s Shanghai Composite climbed 2.5 per cent.
     
    The Australian share market climbed 1.5 per cent on the same day the central bank slashed rates to a new record low: The S&P/ASX 200 index surged 82 points on Tuesday to close at 5,707. On the futures market the SPI is 97 points stronger. 
     
    Currencies
     
    After sinking about $US0.015 on the back of the RBA’s rate cut yesterday the Australian dollar at 8:20am was buying $US0.7799, 51.42 Pence Sterling, 91.68 Yen and 67.92 Euro cents.
     
    Economic news due out today 
     
    Australian Industry Group: Performance of Services Index (PSI) for January 
     
    National Australia Bank Limited (ASX:NAB): Online retail sales index for December
     
    Company news
     
    All eyes will be on the Big Four Banks after the Reserve Bank of Australia yesterday lowered its official cash rate by 25 basis points to a historically low 2.25 per cent. Bank of Queensland Limited (ASX:BOQ) passed on the cut yesterday but Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA) Westpac Banking Corporation (ASX:WBC) and National Australia Bank Limited (ASX:NAB) are understood to still be reviewing their decisions. ANZ Banking Group’s (ASX:ANZ) decision is expected on Friday in line with its policy of announcing its move on the Friday following a RBA meeting. Shares in ANZ Banking Group rose 2.19 per cent to close at $34.11 on Tuesday. 
     
    Echo Entertainment Group Limited (ASX:EGP) has been tipped to report an improved first half profit today. The casino owner and operator last year posted an interim profit of $46.1 million and an annual profit of $106.3 million in the 2014 financial year. At the time of releasing full year results in August Echo advised its cost cutting program and improved profit focus had supported earnings growth. Shares in Echo Entertainment Group rose 5.75 per cent to close at $4.23 on Tuesday ahead of today’s results. 
     
    Ex-dividends

    Alcoa Inc. (ASX:AAI) paying a 2.56 cent unfranked dividend

    Commodities 

    Gold has dropped $15.40 to $US1,262 an ounce for the February contract on Comex. 
    Silver has added $0.06 to $17.31 for March. 
    Copper has risen $0.09 to $2.57 a pound. 
    Oil has rallied $2.58 to $US52.15 a barrel for February light crude in New York.

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