Market tipped to start week with rise

THE Australian sharemarket is expected to start the week slightly higher with some commodity prices rising on Friday but overseas markets providing no strong leads.

On Wall Street on Friday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 3.76 points to 13,025.60 points, the broad-market S&P 500 index added just 0.23 of a point to 1416.18 points, and the Nasdaq Composite index gave up 1.79 points to 3010.24 points.

European markets were similarly mixed.

CommSec chief economist Craig James said he thought traders in overseas markets were taking profits and squaring books at the end of the month.

More positively for Australia was a rise in oil and base metals prices, although that was offset by lower gold and iron ore prices, adding up to a flat start.

The ASX 200 futures rose 12 points, or 0.3 per cent, pointing to the slight gain.


Mr James said that was also in line with the 0.3 per cent rise on Friday on Canada's Toronto bourse, which is similarly resources and financials weighted like Australia's market.

The first day of trading in the final month of the year on Monday will see the release of economic data, with more coming out later in the week to give insights into the state of the Australian economy.

On Monday there will be the release of home price data and job ad numbers for November, along with retail and inflation numbers.

Traders are expected to be cautious ahead of the Reserve Bank board meeting on Tuesday when it will decide whether to cut rates.

CommSec is predicting there will not be a cut.

The release on Wednesday of official economic growth numbers for the September quarter will be keenly watched.