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Choppy market, but no slump

AUSTRALIAN stocks are not expected to match the slump on global bourses over the weekend in response to the Greek crisis, according to Wealth Within chief analyst Dale Gillham.

AUSTRALIAN stocks are not expected to match the slump on global bourses over the weekend in response to the Greek crisis, according to Wealth Within chief analyst Dale Gillham.

The latest developments in Europe would have an impact on the local market, particularly in terms of trading volatility, but events closer to home would have more bearing.

"I think this next week we are going to still be a little bit choppy, but I don't expect our market to be really down," Mr Gillham said yesterday.

"I actually expect our market to probably generally trade up from now through to Christmas and into January."

"We are much more affected by China and things going on in the Asian markets."

Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou won a parliamentary no-confidence vote over the weekend, and was working towards building a unity government of "broad consensus" to pass the European Union bailout plan that was agreed to last week.

Stocks closed lower in New York on Friday night despite official figures that showed the US jobless rate fell to 9 per cent in October, compared with 9.1 per cent the previous month.

The non-farm payrolls report also showed the world's largest economy added 80,000 jobs in the month. Although the result was below market expectations, there were significant upward revisions to previous months' data.

"The October labour market report provides further evidence that recession risks that were gaining prominence in mid-summer have receded and that growth seems to have returned to a trend-like pace," JPMorgan economists said in a research note dated November 4.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 0.51 per cent, the S&P 500 backpedalled 0.63 per cent and the NASDAQ declined 0.44 per cent.

In terms of economic news this week, market players are expected to focus on the latest round of Chinese economic data, including figures on growth and inflation, due on Wednesday.

"The data out of China this week is something that will give us heads up of what the next 12 months is going to be like," Mr Gillham said.

On the local data front, the October labour force report is due out on Thursday.

The median forecast among economists was for the nation to have added 10,000 jobs in October and an unemployment rate of 5.2 per cent, unchanged with the September result.

Other data scheduled for release includes NAB's monthly business survey, Westpac's consumer confidence report and the latest trade figures.

In equities news, Myer Holdings is due to release first quarter sales results and Optus owner SingTel publishes second quarter earnings.

The annual general meeting season also rolls on, with shareholder gatherings for companies such as Seven Group, Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Fortescue Metals Group on this week.

The Australian dollar was down slightly when Wall Street ended trade, sitting at US103.76? compared with US103.97? at Friday's local close.

The December share price futures contract closed weekend trading down 27 points at 4258 points.


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