Flat start tipped for Australian stocks

Reported by AAP
Sunday, October 7, 2012
Topics in this article:
Asx,Gunns,Transurban

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Australian stocks are tipped to make a subdued start to the trading week as market players catch their breath after a recent rally.

CommSec chief economist Craig James says he expects quiet conditions when the local market opens on Monday.

"We had a really good gain on Friday and I think investors are just going to bed down those gains," Mr James said on Sunday.

"Monday will probably be more of a day of consolidation than anything else."

The Australian stock market closed Friday's local session up 0.9 per cent, finishing higher for a seventh straight session.

Jobs numbers are expected to be the focus for the local market this week, with the Australian Bureau of Statistics due to publish the September labour force report on Thursday.

Economists expect the Australian economy to have added 5,000 jobs in the month, and forecast the unemployment rate to rise to 5.3 per cent, from 5.1 per cent in August.

A private-sector job advertisements survey, as well as reports on consumer confidence and business conditions, are also due out this week.

Reserve Bank of Australia deputy governor Philip Lowe is scheduled to speak at a Financial Services Institute of Australasia lunch in Hobart on Tuesday.

On the ASX 24, the December share price index futures contract ended weekend offshore trading one point higher at 4,493 points, on volume of 4,560 contracts traded.

The Australian dollar finished overseas trading at 101.7 US cents, down from Friday's local close of 102.51 US cents.

In companies news, the first meeting of creditors of Tasmanian woodchipper Gunns Ltd is due to be held in Launceston on Wednesday.

Gunns went into administration and receivership on September 25.

Also, toll road company Transurban Group is scheduled to publish its first quarter traffic report.

US stocks received a boost from a positive US employment report, which showed the world's largest economy added 114,000 jobs in September.

Moreover, the US unemployment rate fell to 7.8 per cent, from 8.1 per cent in August, and there were also upward revisions to the previous month's figures.

Wall Street rallied on the report before slipping in late trade ahead of a US public holiday on Monday and the start of the US corporate earnings season next week.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 0.26 per cent and at levels not seen since December 2007, while the S&P500 edged down a slender 0.03 per cent and the NASDAQ slipped 0.42 per cent.

AAP jtc/evt/bw

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