Stocks seen lower, financials may struggle

Australian shares are set for a weak start on Wednesday, with financial stocks under pressure after Goldman Sachs warned that the global credit crisis would not peak until 2009.

Miners may find some support from a rise in base-metals prices, though oil firms could dip after crude oil prices came off record highs. Analysts have warned of continuing weak market sentiment due to concerns over the health of the global economy.

Australian June share price index (SPI) futures fell 10 points to 5409, a 13.7-point discount to the 5422.7 close in the underlying S&P/ASX 200 index on Tuesday. New Zealand’s benchmark NZX-50 index dipped 0.2%, or 6.7 points, to 3397.9 in early trade. The most heavily weighted stock, Telecom Corp of New Zealand, was down 0.5% at $NZ3.82.

Financial firms may struggle after brokerage Goldman Sachs warned that US banks would have to raise as much as $US65 billion in capital to shore up balance sheets hit by the mortgage crisis.

Herald Resources may be in the spotlight after an Indonesian and Chinese group in a bidding war for Herald Resources matched a rival $553 million offer.

Ausdrill again rejected a bid from Macmahon Holdings, saying it feared the offer could lead to a break up of the company.

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