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Australian shares are set for a soft start after Wall Street was mixed and Euro investors kept a close of developments ahead of today's announcement on a possible bond-buying program by the European Central Bank.
On the ASX24, the SPI futures index was 11 points higher to 4293. The Aussie dollar has reclaimed some of yesterday's losses. It was recently buying $US1.019, up from up from $US1.0169 late yesterday, but still languishing near an eight-week low.
Following yesterday's weaker-than-expected GDP data, the Australian Bureau of Statistics today releases jobs data for August. A Bloomberg survey of economists expects the jobless rate to rise to 5.3 per cent from 5.2 per cent during the month, with the addition of 5000 jobs.
Spanish and Italian bonds rallied sharply before today's ECB policy meeting, fuelled by renewed expectations the central bank would unveil a plan for large-scale, sterilised bond-buying.
Markets hungry for details of how European Central Bank President Mario Draghi would back up his promise to do whatever it takes to preserve the euro seized on a report by Bloomberg, which cited two central bank sources briefed on the matter, saying the buying would be unlimited.
Making news today
In economics news:
- ABS unemployment data for August. Bloomberg survey prediction: 5.3% / Prior: 5.2%
In company news:
- AJ Lucas Group extraordinary general meeting
- Clean Global Energy general meeting
- Lend Lease ex dividend date
- WorleyParsons, Supply Network Ltd record date
- Rey Resources extraordinary general meetings
How we fared yesterday
The Australian sharemarket finished lower yesterday as concern about Chinese growth dragged down material and industrial stocks.
At the close, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was down 24.7 points, or 0.6 per cent, at 4278.8, while the broader All Ordinaries index was down 27.9 points, or 0.6 per cent, at 4297.7.
BusinessDay with agencies