AFTERNOON REPORT (4.30pm AEDT)
Local stocks once again ended in the red today, as investors
remain cautious about buying equities in the lead up to the end
of the calendar year and due to more uncertainty in the Eurozone.
The All Ordinaries Index (XAO) closed down 48pts or 1.2pct to
4142.8 while the S&P/ASX 200 Index (XJO) fell 48.7pts or
1.2pct to 4090.8.
Retail stocks once again came under pressure as outdoor wear
retailer Kathmandu (KMD) became the latest casualty of lacklustre
Christmas sales. KMD issued a profit warning, telling the market
sales in the past five weeks have been lower than the same period
last year and below expectations. New Zealand stores have fared
better than those here in Australia, with KMD shares down 25.5pct
today to $1.23 while shares in Billabong (
) fell 8.7pct to $1.78. The surf-wear retailer issued a similar
profit warning on Monday while electronics retail JB Hi-Fi which
has also warned of a drop in 1H profits, fell a further 3.8pct
today to $11.66. Department store Myer (MYR) dropped 6.2pct to
Onesteel (OST) today announced it will write down $150 million
in the value of its Litesteel Technologies business because of
weak residential construction activity. However the company will
also receive $100 million from the sale of a pipe systems
business which means it should avoid having to go to shareholders
to raise funds through a share placement. OST rose 10.3pct today
No economic data was released today and currency markets were
fairly stable. At 4.30pm AEDT the Australian dollar was buying
US100.81c, £0.6434 and €77.28c.
On the market overall, a total of 1.4 billion shares were
traded, worth $3.3 billion. 345 were up, 588 were down and 376
At 4.30pm AEDT on the ASX24, the futures contract was at 4082,
Ahead tonight, leading indicators index and the final estimate
of US GDP for the September quarter are released in the US.
Juliette Saly, CommSec Analyst
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