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Australian shares are expected to snap a four-day winning streak after US markets closed lower ahead of key central bank meeting and disappointing earnings weighed on European earnings.
On the ASX24, the SPI future index was 18 points lower to 4210. The Aussie dollar has clipped back from recent highs against the greenback and the euro. It was recently buying $US1.0506, down from $US1.052 late yesterday. The Aussie touched a euro-era record of 85.86 euro cents shortly after 7pm yesterday. It has since retreated 85.38 euro cents.
In US trade overnight, BHP lost 0.54 per cent and Rio Tinto shares eased 0.17 per cent.
Making news today
In economics news:
- Australian Bureau of Statistics house price index for the June quarter
- Reserve Bank of Australia index of commodity prices for July
- Australian Industry Group/PricewaterhouseCoopers performance of manufacturing index for July
In company news:
- IOOF Holdings full year results
- Westfield Retail Trust interim results
- Aspen Group full year results
- Great Western Exploration general meeting
- King Solomon Mines annual general meeting and full year results
- Century Australia Investments record date
Analyst rating changes:
- Investa Office Fund cut to 'underperform' at Credit Suisse
- Commonwealth Property cut to 'underperform' at Credit Suisse
- Myer raised to 'overweight' from 'equal-weight' at Morgan Stanley
- Tiger Airways cut to 'underweight' at HSBC
How we fared yesterday
Australian shares have ended July where they began - with equities marking four straight days of gains - as hopes about central bank action in major economies provide the spark for buyers.
The ASX200 benchmark share index today rose 23.5 points, or 0.6 per cent, to 4269.2 points - an 11-week closing high. The broader All Ordinaries rose 22.5 points, or 0.5 per cent, to 4289.4 points.
July marked the sixth month of gains for the ASX200 in 2012, with the 4.3 per cent increase in the index the best month since January. May's 7.3 per cent loss countered much of the year's advance.
BusinessDay with agencies