March 20 Australian shares are expected to dip
slightly, tracking Wall Street's move last Friday, as investors
digest the impact of a meeting of the financial leaders of the
world's biggest economies in Germany over the weekend.
G20 finance ministers and central bankers made only a token
reference to trade in their communique on Saturday, a clear
defeat for host nation Germany, which fought the new U.S.
government's attempts to water down past commitments.
Local share price index futures were down 0.2
percent, or 13 points, at 5,770, representing a 29.6 points
discount to the underlying S&P/ASX 200 index close.
The benchmark closed 0.2 percent up in its previous session
New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index fell 0.85
percent, or 62.59 points, to 7,095.55, entering its second
straight session of losses.
The index was pulled down by a 12.2 percent fall in Fletcher
Building after it cut its full year earnings guidance
by about 13 percent and said losses had mounted at two major
For a summary of overnight action across global markets, double
For a digest of the day's business stories in Australian
newspapers, double click on
(Reporting by Susan Mathew in Bengaluru)