MARKET CLOSE (4.30pm AEDT)
The Australian sharemarket lost ground today for the fourth
consecutive day, with the All Ordinaries index (XAO) down 0.3 pct
or 13.8 pts to 4237.5. Almost all sectors lost ground, with the
financials and energy stocks the biggest drag on trade.
The S&P/ASX 200 Financials index fell 0.59 pct or 23.7 pts
to 3986.9. ANZ Banking Group (ANZ) posted a full year profit
result of $5.36 billion. Yesterday, Westpac (
) announced that its earnings for the year came to $6.3 billion.
ANZ fell 1.96 pct or 41 cents to $20.49, National Australia Bank
(NAB) fell 0.96 pct or 24 cents to $24.67, Commonwealth Bank of
) lost 0.44 pct or 21 cents to $48.01 and Westpac ended largely
The miners ended mixed today, with BHP Billiton (
) down 0.03 pct or 1 cent to $36.54 while RIO Tinto (
) gained 0.08 pct or 5 cents to $66.45. Australia's largest miner
Newcrest Mining (NCM) gained 0.36 pct or 12 cents to $33.77.
On the economic front today, a report showed that Australians
have been opening their wallets a touch more with a 0.4 pct rise
in spending taking place in September. Conservative consumers
have been one major concerns of the Australian economy.
Commsec Economist, Savanth Sebastian said that "...there
certainly seem like glimmers of sunshine in the latest round of
retail data. Retail sales lifted for the third consecutive month,
with a cumulative gain of 1.8 per cent. Now that may not sound
like much but when you consider that it is the best three months
of growth since November 2009 - it becomes a big deal. The result
looks even better when you consider that the main strength for
the past three months has been non-food retailing."
The fact that the Reserve Bank of Australia (
) cut interest rates on Tuesday for the first time in 31 months
should also give the retailers a boost. It means that less money
is being tied up in mortgage repayments and is leaving an extra
$50 a month (on the average sized homeloan) in mortgage holder
When commenting on the Reserve Bank, Mr Sebastian said that
"For the Reserve Bank it is the multiplier effect that
essentially the Reserve Bank is banking on to spur domestic
growth over the coming year. And the speculation of further
interest rate cuts should ensure that businesses and consumers
follow through on spending and investment plans over the coming
There is a lot to focus on over the next few days with all
eyes remaining firmly fixed on Europe. Last night there likely
were tears from the Greek Prime Minister after a meeting with the
head of the International Monetary Fund and both the French and
Leaders out of the European Union said that they would not
give another cent to the Greeks until they decide whether to
remain in the Eurozone or not via a referendum in around six
Representatives from the world's 20 largest economies are
meeting in Cannes, France for the G20 gathering
The European Central Bank (ECB) also convenes for its monthly
meeting to discuss interest rates tonight. It will be Italy's
Mario Draghi's first meeting as the new head of the ECB.
In the U.S tonight, there will be over 30 major companies
releasing their full year profit results and the latest report on
the number of unemployment claims made last week will be released
The volume of shares traded came in at 1.65 billion today,
worth $4.27 billion. 389 shares were up, 555 finished weaker and
363 ended unchanged.
At 4.30pm AEDT on the Sydney Futures Exchange, the ASX24
futures contract is up 0.31 pct or 13 pts to 4182.
Due to daylight savings, most major European markets are now
trading between 7pm (AEDT) and 3.30am (AEDT). Futures in Europe
are pointing to a weaker start to trade tonight.
Dow Jones futures are down 1.33 pct or 156 pts to 11612,
indicating that U.S shares will likely kick off the session in
negative territory when American markets open at 12.30pm
Turning to currencies, the Australian dollar (AUD) has lost
some ground and buys US102.5 cents.
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