The Australian market looks set to open flat to slightly weaker later this morning after Wall Street fell modestly on Friday night following a new estimate of fourth-quarter US economic growth that came in better than expected.
The March SPI futures contract is up just four points, at 5918.
US growth in the October-December quarter was revised to 2.2 per cent from the initial estimate of 2.6 per cent.
Markets had expected a sharper cut, and analysts said the figure suggested the economy is growing now at a respectable 3.0 per cent pace or better.
In local economic news today, the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) releases February’s index of commodity prices and the Australian Bureau of Statistics releases its business indicators for the December quarter.
- SPI futures up 4pts at 5918
- AUD at 78.20 US cents, 93.67 Japanese yen, 69.91 Euro cents and 50.60 British pence
- On Wall St, S&P 500 -0.5%, Dow -0.3%, Nasdaq -0.5%
- In Europe, Stoxx 50 +0.7%, FTSE flat, CAC +0.8%, DAX +0.7%
- Spot gold up $US3.64 or 0.3% to $US1213.13 an ounce
- Brent oil up $US2.27 or 2.53% to $US62.58 per barrel
What’s on today:
Australia home prices, monthly inflation, business indicators for December quarter including profits, sales, inventories; US ISM manufacturing, personal income.
Stocks to watch:
Credit Suisse has an “outperform” on M2 Group and boosted its target price to $10.60 a share from $9.35.
Deutsche Bank cut Westfield Corp to a “hold” recommendation and has a $10.06 a share price target on the stock.
Goldman Sachs is retaining a “buy” on Healthscope and raised its price target on the stock by 9 per cent to $3.
The following stocks will trade ex dividend today: Challenger Ltd, Fairfax Media, Fortescue Metals Group, Toll Holdings, Spark Infrastructure, Platinum Asset Management, MyState Ltd, Insurance Australia Group, HFA Holdings.