Mixed US lead for locals

Published in Daily Telegraph, March 2010

The share market is expected to begin this week steady with world markets maintaining their slow rise as concerns about recession and sovereign debts dissipate.

The All Ordinaries index finished the week on Friday at 4831.5, up 58.1 points over the week, while the S&P200 gained 50.9 to 4818.1.

Wall Street wasn't quite as optimistic and finished its week narrowly higher, its fourth consecutive positive session.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 12.85 points, or 0.12 per cent, to finish the week at 10,624.69, the Nasdaq composite index lost 0.8 point to 2,367.66 and the S&P 500 shed 0.25 of a point to 1,149.99.

Economic data showed retail sales unexpectedly rose for the second consecutive month in February, but investors were also dealt some bad news with a survey showing consumer sentiment down.

CommSec senior analyst Craig Tames said the weak lead from Wall Street was likely to result in a flat start for local stocks.

"I think we're going to have a soft start to the week." Mr James said. "There was not too much happening in Europe, not too much happening in terms of the US, and the dollar is relatively unchanged from where we finished up on Friday."

Our dollar closed at US91.6c. "I think for ordinary investors this is very much a very positive environrnent,'' Mr James said.

"Concerns about Greece are fading and, really, traders and investors have got little to worry about at the moment. Given all the turmoil last year, the quietness that we're seeing this year is very much a welcome change."

Wealth Within's chief analyst Dale Gilham suggested this quiet was perhaps the calm before the storm.

"There is an old saying that what goes up fast can also come down fast, and given the recent rate of rise the market is unlikely to continue up at the current speed for much longer before it takes a breather," he said.

"Therefore as I suggested last week, I believe we will see the market slow down soon before it rises again through 5000 points and up to around 5200 points."

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