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Market Wrap
Monday, 4 March 2013 8:40am
By AAP  |  In Economics

The Australian market looks set to open slightly lower despite Wall Street reaching a five-year high as it shrugged off the risks to the world's largest economy of impending federal spending cuts and bid up equities

At 0630 AEDT on Monday, the March share price index futures contract was down five points at 5,069.

In economic news on Monday, the Australian Bureau of Statistics releases its business indicators for the December quarter and the building approvals for January data.

The TD Securities-Melbourne Institute inflation gauge for February is due out as is the ANZ job advertisements series for month just ended, the Dun and Bradstreet business expectations survey and the NAB quarterly online retail sales index.

No major equities news is expected.

In Australia, the market on Friday closed almost half a per cent lower as the major resources companies dragged the index down.

At the close, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was 18 points, or 0.35 per cent, lower at 5,086.1 while the broader All Ordinaries index was down 19.5 points, or 0.38 per cent, at 5,100.9.

NEW YORK - The Dow Jones Industrial Average reached a new five-year high on Friday as investors looked past the risks to the economy of impending federal spending cuts and bid up equities.

The Dow jumped 35.17 points (0.25 per cent) to 14,089.66, less than 100 points from all-time high of 14,164.53 on October 9, 2007, ahead of the markets crash and the Great Recession.

The broad-based S&P 500 increased 3.52 (0.23 per cent) to 1,518.20, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index gained 9.55 (0.30 per cent) to 3,169.74.

LONDON - Europe's main stock markets mostly fell as investors fretted over Italy's post-election deadlock, poor economic data, looming US budget cutbacks and a raft of company results.

London's FTSE 100 index of leading companies bucking the trend to add 0.28 per cent to close at 6378.6 points on Friday on the back of encouraging US data including a third-straight month of increasing manufacturing.

Frankfurt's DAX 30 shed 0.43 per cent to 7708.16 points, and in Paris the CAC 40 lost 0.62 per cent to 3699.91 points.

Milan's FTSE Mib index lost 1.54 per cent to 15,675 points as rising Italian unemployment numbers compounded worries about ongoing political uncertainty following inconclusive elections earlier this week.

Madrid's IBEX 35 retreated 0.52 per cent to 8187.1 points after gloomy news that Spain's manufacturing sector continued to shrink in February.

The euro fell to $US1.2984 from $1.3062 late in New York on Thursday.

HONG KONG - Asian markets were mostly lower as traders took a breather after healthy gains in the previous session while Chinese data showed growth in manufacturing activity had slowed.

Tokyo stocks closed 0.41 percent, or 47.02 points, higher at 11,606.38, as a weak yen helped the market recoup early losses sparked by profit-taking, and after the naming of a new Bank of Japan chief known to favour aggressive monetary easing.

Sydney slid 0.35 percent, or 17.98 points, to end the week at 5,086.1, while Hong Kong fell 0.61 percent, or 140.05 points, to 22,880.22 and Shanghai was 0.26 percent lower, shedding 6.08 points to 2,359.51.

Seoul was closed for a holiday.

WELLINGTON - The NZX 50 Index fell 2.02 points, or 0.04 per cent, to 4317.98.

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