MARKET CLOSE (4.30pm AEDT)
So far, this certainly has been the sort of month we could
have done without. The focus has been firmly fixed on any
developments or headlines regarding Europe. Borrowing costs for
European governments have remained at unsustainable levels and
France's AAA credit rating has come until considerable scrutiny.
The All Ordinaries index (XAO) fell by 1.4 pct or 57.7 pts to
Almost all regions of the market headed south today with the
exception of the I.T sector thanks to a 0.3 pct gain from share
registry, Computershare (CPU).
The S&P/ASX 200 Energy index (which shows us how the
energy sector has performed) fell by 2.22 pct or 296.3 pts to
13038.6 and was the worst performing industry today. Oil and gas
producer Woodside Petroleum (WPL) was the biggest contributor to
the falls after slumping by 5.82 pct or $2.06 to $33.36. The
company held its annual update with investors and disappointed
the market after its expectations for oil production came in
around 10 pct lower than forecast.
The S&P/ASX 200 Materials index (a measure of mining stock
performance) dropped 1.26 pct or 135.7 pts to 10634.5. The
world's largest miner BHP Billiton (
) fell 1.39 pct or 48 cents to $34.05 while RIO Tinto (
) lost 0.74 pct or 46 cents to $61.95.
Iron ore miner, Sundance Resources (SDL) entered a trading
halt today. The Perth based company is developing a huge iron ore
project in the Republic of Cameroon and Congo and is expected to
make an announcement shortly. Chinese miner, Hanlong have already
made an offer for the company however a number of people with
links to the miner are being investigated for insider trading.
This has contributed to the subdued nature of SDL share
Primary Healthcare (PRY) held its Annual General Meeting (
) meeting. The company is a service company to medical and
healthcare professionals. It operates 87 medical centres and 161
diagnostic imaging centres (services such as x-rays and MRIs).
PRY shares fell 3.96 pct or 13 cents to $3.15.
The S&P/ASX 200 Financials index (a measure of how
financial institutions performed on the Australian sharemarket)
fell 1.71 pct or 64.7 pts to 3727.3. The four major banks all
lost ground with Commonwealth Bank (
) falling most significantly, down 2.6 pct or $1.21 to $45.39,
National Australia Bank (NAB) fell 1.89 pct or 42 cents to
$21.82, Westpac (
) dropped 1.27 pct or 25 cents to $19.50 while ANZ Banking Group
(ANZ) eased 1.26 pct or 24 cents to $18.77.
The retailers have been one of the worst performers this week,
this month and also this year. Some of the largest retailers such
as David Jones (DJS) and Myer (MYR) have slumped by around 35 pct
since the start of January 2011. This week David Jones (DJS) has
been hit hard and has fallen by around 10 pct over the past two
days. Yesterday, DJS disappointed the market yesterday by saying
that sales at its stores fell by 11 pct between July and
Its competitor, Myer (MYR) has also fallen by around 35 pct
and has been one of the worst hit this year. Today, the retailer
held its Annual General Meeting (
) with shareholders and indicated that sales this year are likely
to remain flat.
Tonight, Italy will release its latest report on retail sales
and no major economic data will be issued in the U.S.
The volume of shares traded came in at 2.01 billion today,
worth $5.68 billion. 344 shares were up, 672 finished weaker and
378 ended unchanged. Equity options expired yesterday and there
tends to be higher volume around this time.
At 4.30pm AEDT on the Sydney Futures Exchange, the ASX24
futures contract is down 0.12 pct or 5 pts to 3998.
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 were closed last night due to the
Thanksgiving public holiday. Dow Jones futures are currently
lower, indicating that U.S stocks could start in the red tonight
when American markets open at 1.30am (AEDT). Due to the Americans
going back an hour on November 5, U.S markets will be trading
between 1.30am (AEDT) and 8am (AEDT).
Turning to currencies, the Australian dollar (AUD) has
continued to lose ground and buys US97.04 cents which is around
US8 cents lower than this time last month.
Steven Daghlian, Commsec Market Analyst
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