Australian Stock Market Report – Midday 10/2/2012


(12.45pm AEST)

Today, the Australian share market followed the lead of the US and European markets higher, with the gains in oil and gold helping the material sector run higher in early trade. By lunchtime the All Ordinaries Index (XAO) had held on to early gains up 28 points to 4,436 points.

Overnight the better than expected manufacturing data out from Europe and the US boosted sentiment and helped investors push aside concerns over Eurozone unemployment which hit a new record high of 11.4%.
The focus of the 2nd half of today's trading session will be the outcomes from the Reserve Bank of Australia ( RBA ) October board meeting and interest rate decision. The money market is still factoring in a 66% chance of a 25 basis point or ¼ or 1% cut today. Most market analysts are expecting the overnight cash rate to stay at 3.5% in October and the RBA to cut in November at its Cup day meeting.
Today the S&P/ASX 200 Materials sector added 0.85% by lunch after gains in industrial metal miners including the steel sector and gold stocks. Overnight base metals on the London Metals Exchange (LME) gained across the board helping BHP Billiton Limited ( BHP ) build on its solid run again this morning up another 0.88% to $33.41. Rio Tinto ( RIO ) was one of the weaker performers in the mining sector only up by 0.42% in early trade to $53.58. Australia's third biggest iron ore miner, Fortescue Metals (FMG) was place in a trading halt before the start of trade today. Fortescue (FMG) chairman Andrew Forrest today won his High Court challenge against ASIC over claims he mislead shareholders over mine developments. FMG's share price last traded at $3.50.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.

This article appears in: Investing , Commodities

Referenced Stocks: BHP , RBA , RIO

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