MID-SESSION REPORT (12.15pm AEST)
The Australian share market has resumed trade after the Easter break on a positive note, rising 0.4 per cent in thin trading volumes.
US markets were not closed on Easter Monday so we have taken our lead from the positive 0.3 per cent gained witnessed in the US.
It is expected to be a quiet trading week, with the market closed again on Anzac Day. The only major events of note are flash PMI readings from Europe and China, coupled with the release of the Australian inflation figures.
CommSec is tipping inflation rose 0.8 per cent in the March quarter for an annual increase of 3.2 per cent, above the RBA's preferred 2-3 per cent range.
In stock specific news, Oil Search (OSH) is higher, up 0.5 per cent to $8.68 after announcing its PNG LNG project is running ahead of schedule. The oil company produced 1.68 million barrels of oil equivalent (BOW) in the first quarter of its financial year, a 7.7 per cent annual increase. 1Q revenue fell 3.3 per cent on the year to $170.2 million.
Gold miner Newcrest Mining (NCM) shares are lower by 2.3 per cent to $10.01 after the price of gold fell to a two week low during Monday's trade. Hopes China may announce more stimulus for its economy over the weekend were also dashed, sending iron ore lower. Shares in Fortescue Metals Group (FMG) are weaker by 0.3 per cent to $5.315.
So far on the market, 610 million shares have changed hands, worth $1.4 billion. 420 are up, 374 are down and 287 are unchanged.
At 12.10pm AEST the Australian dollar is buying US93.51c. CBA expects further downsides to the greenback over 2014/15 and changed its currency forecasts on Thursday. FX Analysts now expect the AUD to trade around US94c from June through to September, rising to US97c in December. The AUD could reach highs of US99c by March next year.
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