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Australian shares are set for an early gain as investors await first half earnings reports from a host of major companies.
At 6am on the ASX24, the SPI futures contract was 16 points higher to 4942. The Aussie was trading back above $US1.03. It slumped to a low of $US1.0228 late last night, before recovering to $US1.0305 a short time ago. It was also buying 96.42 yen, 76.60 euro cents and 65.82 pence.
Earnings season kick into high gear today with a long list of leading corporates due to report first half earnings. Companies expected to report include Commonwealth Bank, Stockland, Boral, CSL, Leighton and Ansell.
Making news today
In economics news:
- ABS Lending finance for December
- Westpac/Melbourne Institute Survey of Consumer Sentiment
In company news:
- The following companies report first half earnings: Commonwealth Bank, Stockland, Goodman Group, WorleyParsons, Boral, Noni B, Leighton Holdings, Dexus Property Group, Ansell, CSL, Computershare, The Reject Shop, Carsales.com, Gindalbie Metals first half results
- OZ Minerals full year results
- Platinum Asset Management quarterly update
Analyst ratings changes:
- Bradken raised to outperform at Credit Suisse
- Bradken raised to buy at Moelis & Company
- Metcash cut to neutral at Credit Suisse
- Alacer Gold cut to underweight at JPMorgan
- IOOF cut to underweight at JPMorgan
- Virgin Australia raised to buy at Nomura
- Seven West Media cut to buy at BBY Ltd
With a little over an hour left in trade, US stocks had advanced, sending benchmark indexes to five-year highs, as earnings topped estimates and investors awaited President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address.
- Standard & Poor’s 500 added 0.2% to 1520.27
- Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.4% to 14,028.43
- Nasdaq composite lost 0.07% to 3190.84
European stock markets rose, with a G7 countries warning of foreign exchange volatility pushing up the yen, while dealers also digested news of job cuts across the banking, airlines and telecoms sectors.
- London’s FTSE 100 added 0.985 to close at 6338.38
- In Frankfurt’s DAX 30 added 0.35% to 7660.19
- In Paris the CAC 40 added 0.99% to 3686.58
Asian markets were mixed in holiday-thinned trade, with Tokyo boosted by a weaker yen, while Seoul was lower after news that North Korea had successfully tested a nuclear bomb.With several regional markets still closed for Lunar New Year celebrations, trading was quiet, while dealers look ahead to a meeting of the Group of 20 top economic power at the end of the week.
- Japan's Nikkei 225 added 1.94% to 11,369.12
- China & Hong Kong markets were closed for the lunar new year.
How we fared yesterday
The Australian sharemarket finished flat after the All Ordinaries index pushed through the significant 5000 point barrier earlier in the day.
The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index slipped 0.5 points, or 0.01 per cent, to 4959 while the broader All Ordinaries index was up 1.2 points, or 0.02 per cent, at 4981.5.
BusinessDay with agencies