The Australian market looks set to open lower this morning, with European markets closing lower after disappointing bailout package talks between the European Union and Greece.
Greece rejected a proposal by its euro zone partners that it should accept a six-month extension of its international bailout program while sticking to the terms of its agreement with lenders, casting talks on its debt into disarray.
EU officials said the talks were over unless Athens changed its mind after a leftist-led government won power last month and vowed to scrap the 240 billion euro bailout, reverse austerity policies and end cooperation with EU/IMF inspectors
The March SPI futures contract is down 18 points, at 5804.
In local economic news today, the Reserve Bank of Australia releases its monthly board meeting minutes, while the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ international merchandise imports data for January is due out, as is the ANZ-Roy Morgan weekly consumer confidence survey.
In equities news, Fortescue Metals Group, Dick Smith, Asciano, SEEK, Sonic Healthcare and Amcor are among the companies expected to post half year results, while Coca-Cola Amatil and Iluka Resources are slated to release full year results.
- SPI futures down 18pts, at 5804
- AUD at 77.59 US cents, 91.92 Japanese yen, 68.47 Euro cents and 50.56 British pence
- Wall St closed for the Presidents’ Day holiday.
- In Europe, Stoxx 50 -0.4%, FTSE -0.2%, CAC -0.2%, DAX -0.4%
- Spot gold down 51 US cents to $US1229.25 an ounce
- Brent oil down 8 cents to $US61.44 per barrel
What’s on today:
Reserve Bank of Australia meeting minutes, imports of goods; US NAHB housing market index, capital flows; New Zealand RBNZ governor speech in Auckland (evening); China house prices; UK CPI, house prices.
Earnings today: Amcor, ANZ, Asciano, Arrium, Challenger Limited, Coca-Cola Amatil, Dick Smith, Fortescue Metals Group, GWA, Hills Limited, Iluka Resources, Invocare, Monadelphous, Pacific Brands, Seek Limited, Seven West, Sonic Healthcare, Western Areas.
Stocks to watch:
UBS is maintaining a “sell” recommendation on Telstra and raised its 12-month price target to $4.60 a share from $4.35 a share.
Deutsche Bank has a “buy” recommendation on property developer Stockland and a target price of $4.50 a share.
Credit Suisse said APN News and Media remains its top pick in the small cap consumer space. “APN represents good value for investors trading on 11x FY15 EPS. We see several positive catalysts that will likely create ongoing positive momentum in the stock.” CS has an “outperform” rating on the media company and a target price of $1.10 a share.