Australian shares are set for a flat start as investors wait to see if US Federal Reserve chief Ben Bernanke will this week outline steps to boost the world's biggest economy.
On the ASX24, the SPI futures index was flat at 4347. The Australian dollar was also steady. It was recently buying $US1.0379, roughly in line with yesterday's close. It was also buying 82.59 euro cents, 65.57 British pence and 81.47 yen.
Locally, earning season continues with Southern Cross Media, Transfield and WorleyParsons among the companies expected to report.
Making news today
In economics news:
- ABS construction work done for the June quarter
In company news:
- The following companies report full year earnings: Hastie Group, Southern Cross Media, Transfield Services, Ausdrill, Medusa Mining, WorleyParsons, Austal, Penrice Soda
- Endocoal Ltd extraordinary general meeting
- Ansell, IMF Australia, Adelaide Brighton record date
Analyst rating changes:
- Talison Lithium cut to 'hold' from buy at Stifel
- Investa Office Fund cut to 'neutral' at UBS
- Atlas Iron downgraded to 'sell' at UBS
- Spark Infrastructure cut to 'neutral' at Credit Suisse
- Toll cut to 'neutral' at Credit Suisse
- Caltex cut to 'underperform' at Credit Suisse
How we fared yesterday
Australian stocks have closed firmer, with defensive sectors leading the broader market higher, while miners were under pressure on concerns over global growth.
The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index rose 15.7 points, or 0.4 per cent, to 4359.4, while the broader All Ordinaries index added 14.1 points, or 0.3 per cent, to 4387 points.
BusinessDay with agencies