The Aussie market is poised to open higher later this morning, following gains on European and US stock markets overnight.
The March SPI futures contract is up 17 points at 5277.
Europe’s leading stock markets got a boost from expectations of further European Central Bank stimulus and better investor confidence in Germany.
Locally, mining giant BHP Billiton releases its December quarter production report and in economic news, the Westpac/Melbourne Institute Survey of Consumer Sentiment is due out.
- SPI futures up 12pts at 5270
- AUD at 81.70 US cents, 97.05 Japanese yen, 70.75 Euro cents and 53.91 British pence
- In late trade, S&P 500 -0.2%, Dow -0.1%, Nasdaq +0.2%
- In Europe, Stoxx 50 +0.8%, FTSE +0.5%, CAC +1.2%, DAX +0.1%
- Spot gold up $US17.37 or 1.4% to $US1293.02 an ounce
- Brent oil down 56 US cents or 1.2% to $US48.28 per barrel
- US crude fell $US2.13 or 4.4% to $US46.56 a barrel
- Iron ore inches up 7 cents or 0.1% to $US68.16 per tonne.
What’s on today:
AU: Westpac January consumer confidence index
US: December housing starts
UK: Bank of England monetary policy committee meeting minutes
Japan: Bank of Japan rates decision
Canada: Bank of Canada rates decision
NZ: New Zealand fourth-quarter CPI.
Stocks to watch:
Citi has begun coverage of REA Group with a Buy rating and $54 target price implying an about 20pc of total return on a 12-month forward basis.
Morningstar has a “hold” recommendation on GUD Holdings and a $6.00 fair value price.
Morgan Stanley has an “overweight” rating on BHP Billiton and a $37 price target, adding the global miner has “potential for guidance upgrades, but underlying value remains our focus”.