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Australian stocks are expected to start the last full trading week before Christmas on a cautious note amid ongoing negotiations over the looming US budget deadline.
On the ASX24, the SPI futures index was 10 points lower to 4571. The Aussie dollar rose to $US1.0576 late on Friday, but has started the week lower at $US1.0546. It was stronger against the yen following elections over the weekend which returned Japan’s conservative Liberal Democratic Party (LDP). The Aussie was buying 88.94 yen, up from 88.2 at Friday’s close. The Aussie was also buying 80.05 euro cents and 65.23 pence.
Making news today
In economics news:HIA state and national outlook, September quarter 2012RBA assistant governor, financial markets, Guy Debelle will be a panel discussant at the 25th Australasian Finance and Banking Conference 2012, Shangri-La Hotel, Sydney
In company news:The following companies hold annual general meetings:Bulletin Resources, Centium Electric, Hughes Drilling, Indochine Mining, Mothercare Australia, Nkwe Platinum, Ocean Capital, Quest Minerals, Geocrystal
Making news this weekTuesday: Minutes of the RBA’s December board meeting, Conference Board leading index for OctoberWednesday: Westpac leading index for October, DEWR internet skilled vacancies for NovemberThursday: RBA foreign exchange transactions for November
Fiscal cliff looms
CommSec chief economist Craig James said despite some encouraging US manufacturing, inflation and industrial production data, and BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto being well-supported in London trade, the fiscal cliff was dominating sentiment.
“If we could solve the fiscal cliff problem then everything would be all right,” Mr James said on Sunday.
“That’s the only issue out there at the moment.”
A series of US tax hikes and government spending cuts, referred to as the fiscal cliff, are due to hit at the start of calendar 2013.
Unless an agreement is reached, these measures are expected to push the US economy back into recession, which would have a significant knock-on impact on the global economy.
“Progress in resolving the US fiscal cliff remains slow,” AMP Capital Markets chief economist Shane Oliver said in a research note dated December 14. “An agreement before year end would be a good outcome for equity markets.”
How we fared on Friday
Local stocks closed flat on Friday – the benchmark S&P/ASX200 edged up 0.01 per cent and the broader All Ordinaries index rose 0.04 per cent. Australian stocks have risen about two per cent so far in December.
BusinessDay with agencies
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.