Market to take a breather after seven-day streak

AUSTRALIAN stocks are tipped to make a subdued start to the trading week as investors catch their breath after a recent rally.

AUSTRALIAN stocks are tipped to make a subdued start to the trading week as investors catch their breath after a recent rally.

The CommSec chief economist, Craig James, says he expects quiet conditions when the local market opens today.

"We had a really good gain on Friday and I think investors are just going to bed down those gains," Mr James said. "Monday will probably be more of a day of consolidation than anything else."

The Australian sharemarket closed Friday's local session up 0.9 per cent, finishing higher for a seventh straight session.

Jobs numbers are expected to be a focus for the week, with the Australian Bureau of Statistics scheduled to publish its September labour force report on Thursday. Economists expect the economy to have added 5000 jobs during the month and unemployment to have risen to 5.3 per cent from 5.1 per cent in August.

A private-sector job advertisements survey and reports on consumer confidence and business conditions also are due this week.

The Reserve Bank of Australia deputy governor, Philip Lowe, is scheduled to speak at a Financial Services Institute of Australasia lunch in Hobart tomorrow.

On the ASX 24, the December share price index futures contract ended weekend offshore trading a point higher at 4493 on 4560 contracts traded. The dollar finished overseas trading at US101.7?, against Friday's local close of US102.51?.

In companies news, the first meeting of creditors of Gunns Ltd, which went into administration and receivership on September 25, will be in Launceston on Wednesday.

Toll road company Transurban Group is scheduled to publish its first quarter traffic report.

US stocks received a boost from a US employment report that showed the world's largest economy added 114,000 jobs in September. Moreover, the US unemployment rate fell to 7.8 per cent, from 8.1 per cent in August, and there were also upward revisions to the previous month's figures.

Wall Street rallied on the report before slipping in late trade before a US public holiday today and the start of the US corporate earnings season this week.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 0.26 per cent and at levels not seen since December 2007, while the S&P500 edged down a slender 0.03 per cent and the NASDAQ slipped 0.42 per cent.