The Australian market looks set to open higher later this morning, following gains on Wall Street amid optimism that a bailout extension deal will be reached between Greece and its creditors.
The March SPI futures contract is up 25 points, at 5845.
In local economic news, the Westpac-Melbourne Institute Leading Indexes of Economic Activity is expected on Wednesday.
In equities news, IAG, Seven West Media, Primary Health Care, Toll Group, Ardent Leisure, Arrium, The Reject Shop half year results and Carsales.com are among the companies expected to post half year results, while Woodside Petroleum is slated to release full year results.
- SPI futures are up 25 points to 5845
- Australian dollar is fetching 78.22 US cents, 93.30 Japanese yen, 68.58 Euro cents and 50.95 British pence
- On Wall Street in late trade, Dow +0.1%, S&P flat, Nasdaq flat
- In Europe, FTSE +0.6%. Dax -0.3%, CAC flat
- Brent crude added 1.2% to $US62.16 per barrel
- Spot gold fell 1.9% to $US1208.74 an ounce
What’s on today:
Australia Westpac leading index; US FOMC meeting minutes, housing starts, building permits, industrial production; NZ PPI input/output; Japan Bank of Japan statement on monetary policy; UK Bank of England minutes.
Earnings reports expected from Arrium, Asciano, Bega Cheese, Dexus Property Group, Insurance Australia Group, MacMahon Holdings, Mount Gibson Iron, Recall Holdings, Seven West Media, Toll Holdings, Western Areas, Woodside Petroleum, Trade Me, Primary Health Care, Carsales.com.
Stocks to watch:
Toll Holdings has received a takeover approach from Japan Post, sources told the Australian Financial Review on Tuesday night. The offer price is said to value the company at about $5 billion and an announcement is expected as early as Wednesday.
Credit Suisse has a “neutral” recommendation on James Hardie Industries and a target price of $14.60 a share in the lead-up to it reporting earnings on Friday, February 20.
Macquarie Wealth Management maintains an “outperform” on Beach Energy with a 12-month target price of $1.25 a share. BPT will report 1H15 interim financial results on February 23.
Deutsche Bank says Rio Tinto is delivering on all fronts and has a “buy” rating on the miner and a target price of $83.90 a share.