International markets were mixed overnight with modest losses in Europe offset by modest gains in the US.
The UK’s FTSE shed 17 points (-0.3%) to settle at 5928, whilst the CAC (-0.2%) and DAX (-0.6%) also lost ground despite European leaders agreeing on a 130 billion euro bail-out package with Greece, as investors booked profits on earlier gains in thin trade.
Eurozone consumer confidence improved modestly for the second month running in February, lifting from -20.6 to -20.2.
Stateside, the Dow Jones added 16 points (+0.1%) to settle at 12966, whilst the S&P500 added 0.1% and the Nasdaq slipped 0.1%.
The Dow Jones pushed above 13,000 for the first time in almost four years but could not hold above this key round number into the close.
The Aussie dollar slipped lower overnight, in line with the equity market softness. The Aussie is buying US$1.06.
Oil posted solid gains with investors concluding that the Greek bailout package boosts prospects for the eurozone and the broader global economy. The black gold added 2.5% to US$105.84 a barrel.
Base metals were stronger across the board, adding at least 2.4% each whilst gold also strengthened, adding 2% to US$1,761 an ounce.
In company news, Suncorp has reported a 74% surge in 1H12 net profit to $389 million, with the result comfortably beating analyst estimates. An interim dividend of 20 cents was declared.
Today David Jones is reporting quarterly sales. Woodside and CSL are amongst the other companies reporting earnings. Cochlear ($1.20) also goes ex-dividend today.
Today’s session will bring us data in the form of the CB leading index, 10:00 am, AEDT, MI leading index 10:30 am, AEDT, and the wage price index, 11:30am, AEDT.