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Australian shares are expected to ease in early trade after Wall Street erased gains when the US Federal Reserve took a wait-and-see approach to launching a new round of stimulus measures.
On the ASX24, the SPI futures index was 6 points lower to 4220. The Aussie dollar has lost ground against the greenback following the Fed announcement. It was recently buying $US1.046, down from above $US1.05 late yesterday. It was also off historic highs against the euro, recently buying 85.5 euro cents.
The US Federal Reserve stopped short of offering new monetary stimulus, dashing expectations among some investors. But Fed officials described the economy as having "decelerated somewhat," a change of tone from its previous assessment in June when it said the economy had been "expanding moderately."
The Fed nevertheless showed it was prepared to do more to support an ailing economy. "The Committee will closely monitor incoming information on economic and financial developments and will provide additional accommodation as needed," the Fed said in its statement.
Making news today
In economics news:
- Australian Bureau of Statistics retail trade for June
- Australian Bureau of Statistics international trade in goods and services for June
In company news:
- Australian Competition and Consumer Commission proposed deadline for decision on News Corp acquisition of Consolidated Media Holdings
- Forte Energy general meeting
- Mt Isa Metals extraordinary general meeting
- Bell Financial Group interim results
Analyst rating changes:
- Northern Iron cut to 'neutral' at Macquarie
- Cochlear raised to 'neutral' at BofA-Merrill Lynch
How we fared yesterday
Australian shares posted modest falls - their first retreat in five days - as investors digested weak Chinese manufacturing data and awaited signs that the US Federal Reserve is ready to act to spur the world's biggest economy.
The benchmark S&P/ASX200 fell 6.4 points, or 0.1 per cent, to 4262.8, while the broader All Ordinaries dropped 6.7 points, or 0.2 per cent, to 4282.7.
BusinessDay with agencies