The Aussie market is poised to open flat later this morning, after Wall Street fell overnight amid mixed US housing data, a lacklustre reading on inflation and indications the Federal Reserve is in no hurry to raise interest rates.
The March SPI futures contract is down just one point, at 5876.
Minutes of the Fed’s January 27-28 meeting show some officials were concerned that wage growth remained weak and others noted inflation was still below the Fed’s two per cent target.
Meanwhile, US new home construction fell 2.0 per cent and wholesale prices dropped 0.8 per cent in January, pulled down by the plunge in petrol prices.
In local economic news today, the CoreLogic RP Data Residential Land Report for the September quarter is due out.
In equities news, Wesfarmers, Virgin Australia, Fairfax Media, Crown Resorts, Origin Energy, Webjet, Tatts, Drillsearch, iiNet and Super Retail Group are among the companies expected to post half year results, while AMP and Oceana Gold are slated to release full year results.
- SPI futures down 1pt, at 5876
- AUD at 78.25 US cents, 92.74 Japanese yen, 68.57 Euro cents and 50.43 British pence
- In late trade, S&P 500 -0.2%, Dow -0.2%, Nasdaq -0.1%
- In Europe, Stoxx 50 +0.8%, FTSE flat, CAC +1%, DAX +0.6%
- Iron ore adds 0.7% to $US63.44 per tonne
- Spot gold up 6 US cents to $US1209.95 an ounce
- Brent oil down $US1.50 or 2.4% to $US61.03 per barrel
What’s on today:
Australia: detailed jobs data;
US: leading index, jobless claims;
NZ: consumer confidence;
China: Lunar New Year;
Japan: monthly report on economic and financial developments (summary).
Earnings from AMP, Drillsearch, Fairfax Media, Federation Centres, iiNet, Origin Energy, PanAust, RCR Tomlinson, Sandfire Resources, Southern Cross Media, Webjet, Super Retail Group, Tatts Group, Virgin Australia, Wesfarmers, Western Areas, Charter Hall Retail REIT, Brambles, Alumina.
Stocks to watch
Macquarie Group’s Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets (MIRA) is looking to raise a new Australian-focused fund that could be worth as much as $5 billion, sources said.
Canaccord Genuity has initiated coverage on LatAm Autos with a “speculative buy” recommendation and a price target of 36¢ a share.
Oil Search is an “outperform” at RBC Capital Markets with a price target of $9 a share before it reports earnings on Tuesday, February 24. RBC Capital is forecasting an underlying NPAT [net profit after tax] of $473 million with a final dividend of 12¢ a share.