MARKET CLOSE (4.30pm AEDT)
The Australian sharemarket lost ground for the fifth straight
day today however did quite well to only fall modestly. The All
Ordinaries index (XAO) eased by 0.3 pct or 10.5 pts to 4115.3.
Shares were actually in positive territory for around two hours
today only to give away those gains in the last hour and a half
Most sectors ended in the red with the miners once again the
worst performers. The S&P/ASX 200 Materials index (a measure
of how the miners did today) fell 0.27 pct or 29.2 pts to
10770.2. RIO Tinto (
) rose by 0.18 pct or 11 cents to $62.41 while the larger BHP
) edged higher by 0.06 pct or 2 cents to $34.53.
The S&P/ASX 200 Financials index (a measure of the
performance of financial institutions) rose 0.1 pct or 3.8 pts to
3792. Commonwealth Bank of Australia (
) was the only major to rise by 0.71 pct or 33 cents to $46.60
today, while National Australia Bank (NAB) dropped 0.58 pct or 13
cents to $22.24, ANZ Banking Group (ANZ) fell by 0.47 pct or 9
cents to $19.01 while Westpac (
) lost 0.4 pct or 8 cents to $19.75.
The retailers were amongst the worst today with upmarket
department store owner, David Jones (DJS) disappointing with a
less than impressive sales update. Between July and September
sales fell by 11.2 pct which resulted in a 5.39 pct loss on the
Surfwear retailer, Billabong (
) fell by 12.5 pct or 52 cents to $3.64 despite there being no
official announcements out from the company.
Australia's largest supermarket owner and biggest owner of
poker machines, Woolworths (WOW) lost 0.86 pct or 21 cents to
$24.56 today as it held its annual meeting with shareholders. The
company also unsurprisingly joined the fight against pokie
reform. Believe it or not, last year on average Australians lost
around $1200 each from gambling which was twice as much as the
Canadians and the Irish.
In Asia today, China lowered its reserve ratio for 20 of its
banks. The idea would be to allow the banks to lend a little more
out to investors since the Chinese economy is showing signs of
slowing. Banks now have to park around 16 pct of their deposits
with the Chinese Central Bank. Yesterday a report showed that the
Chinese manufacturing sector showed more weakness than
Malaysian budget airline Air Asia which is also the largest
low-fare airline in Asia has struggled over the past few days and
hit a one month low yesterday after it posted a third quarter
loss due to higher fuel prices.
Tonight in the U.K, the latest growth reading will be released
for the third quarter (July to September) at around 8.30pm. This
is around 1.5 hours into British trade.
In Germany at approximately 8pm the latest report on business
confidence will be released. The market is expecting confidence
to come in at 105.5 (a reading above 100 indicates positive
The volume of shares traded came in at 2.29 billion today,
worth $5.66 billion. 330 shares were up, 649 finished weaker and
396 ended unchanged. Equity options expired today (there tends to
be higher volume when this takes place).
At 4.30pm AEDT on the Sydney Futures Exchange, the ASX24
futures contract is down 0.27 pct or 11 pts to 4037.
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.
The U.S sharemarkets will be closed tonight due to the
Thanksgiving public holiday.
Turning to currencies, the Australian dollar (AUD) has
continued to lose ground and buys US97.1 cents trading around a
one and a half month low.
Steven Daghlian, Commsec Market Analyst
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