The Australian share market eased for a second session today, as big falls from the big four banks dragged on the local bourse.
U.S. stock index futures pointed to a higher open on Wall Street on Monday, with futures for the S&P 500 up 0.85 percent, Dow Jones futures up 0.49 percent and Nasdaq 100 futures up 0.79 percent at 0842 GMT.
The All Ordinaries Index (XAO) ended the day's trade down 24.2pts or 0.5% to 5104.4pts.
The National Australia Bank (NAB) today announced changes aimed at saving $800M. It's expected these changes, to shrink the number of products it owns and cut branches will actually cost around $500M after depreciation, over 5 years and will not result in major job cuts. NAB shares fell 1.9% today, with the financial sector as a whole down 1.5%.
The miners fared better, index leader BHP Billiton (BHP) adding 0.7% to $35.91 and Rio Tinto (RIO) firmer by 0.3% to $62.10.
Qantas (QAN) was a standout performer, adding 2% to $1.745.
In economic data today, the Index of Consumer Confidence rose by 2% to 27 month high in March and is up 15.1% over the year, the strongest annual growth in three years.
CommSec Chief Economist Craig James believes the data shows there is no pressing need for the Reserve Bank to cut interest rates at present.
On the market overall, a total of 1.7 billion shares were traded, worth $5.5 billion. 400 were up, 571 were down and 358 were unchanged.
Looking ahead to global market trade tonight, industrial production data, a 10-year bond auction in Italy and a 30-year bond auction in the U.K will be held. In the U.S. monthly retail spending numbers are due for release overnight. Economists are tipping a 0.3% rise in spending over the month. The impact of January's 'fiscal cliff' measures will be closely watched.
The Dow Futures is up 19pts to 14469 while the SFE 200 Futures was down 15pts at 5099 at 5pm AEDT.
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