The Australian market looks set to open lower later this morning, following falls on Wall Street overnight after a slide in durable goods orders and some disappointing earnings reports.
The March SPI futures contract is down 37 points, at 5454.
Official US figures showed that orders for durable goods — items meant to last at least three years — fell 3.4 per cent in December after dropping 2.1 per cent in November.
Caterpillar, the world’s largest mining and construction equipment manufacturer, missed expectations and Microsoft’s sales to business trailed estimates.
In local economic news today, the Australian Bureau of Statistics releases consumer price index data for December quarter. The Westpac-Melbourne Institute Leading Indexes of Economic Activity is due out, as is the ANZ-Roy Morgan weekly consumer confidence survey for December, delayed from Tuesday.
Meanwhile, JP Morgan launches its 2014 General Insurance Barometer.
In equities news, Oz Minerals and Sandfire Resources release December quarter results.
- SPI futures down 37pts at 5434
- AUD at 79.28 US cents, 93.46 Japanese yen, 69.82 Euro cents and 52.16 British pence
- In late trade, S&P 500 -0.8%, Dow -1.1%, Nasdaq -1.1%
- In Europe, Stoxx 50 -1.2%, FTSE -0.6%, CAC -1.1%, DAX -1.6%
- Spot gold up $1% to $US1293.72 an ounce
- Iron slipped 0.1% to $US63.50 per metric tonne
• Brent oil up 2.6% to $US49.43 per barrel
What’s on today:
Australia: December-quarter CPI, December skilled vacancies, Oz Minerals quarterly update,
US: December durable goods, December new home sales, January consumer confidence, Federal Reserve meeting.
Stocks to watch:
Allan Gray portfolio manager Simon Mawhinney thinks now is the time to be selectively investing in oil and iron ore companies as prices plunge, bankruptcies loom and a weaker Australian dollar offers little support.
Deutsche Bank has a “buy” recommendation on APA Group and a $7.95 target price. “APA is our top pick in the utility sector. The company is highly leveraged to our preferred theme, gas transportation,” the investment bank said in a broker’s note.
The following stocks will trade ex dividend today:
Cape Lambert Resources, OGI Group.