AFTERNOON REPORT (4.30pm AEDT)
Local stocks ended in the red for a second session this week,
after rising on Monday and Wednesday. The rollercoaster ride
continues as investors await the weekend European Union summit
with hopes leaders will come up with a viable solution to the
region's debt crisis.
The All Ordinaries Index (XAO) fell 68pts or 1.6pct by close
Every sector finished in the red. The miners were among the
worst performers, with Newcrest Mining (NCM) down 6.4pct to
$33.45 after reporting a fall in September gold output.
Shares in Wesfarmers (
) fell 2pct to $31.54 after warning supermarket giant Coles is
facing tough trading conditions in the lead-up to Christmas.
Coles reported an 8pct rise in quarterly sales to $8.09 billion,
while sales at its convenience stores were up almost 18pct and
food and liquor sales rose 5.5pct from the previous corresponding
period. Meanwhile, sales at Target fell 1.4pct in the quarter
while Kmart sales were only slightly higher (up 0.1pct). Sales at
Bunnings and Officeworks rose 7pct to $2.1 billion.
The NAB Quarterly Business survey was released today, showing
conditions stumbled in the September quarter. Falls were recorded
in trading conditions, profitability and employment. Forward
orders remained weak and stocks were negative, implying an
expectation of softer near-term domestic demand. Conditions also
deteriorated across in the quarter. However, monthly data suggest
both confidence and conditions had regained lost ground by the
end of the quarter.
The Australian dollar ended the day's trade weaker, at
US101.74c, £0.6472 and €74.25c.
On the market overall, a total of 1.55 billion shares were
traded, worth 4.8 billion dollars. 310 were up, 650 were down and
361 were unchanged.
At 5.30pm AEDT on the ASX24, the futures contract was at 4143,
Ahead tonight, existing home sales, the leading index,
Philadelphia Fed index and weekly jobless claims data are
released in the US.
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