After the Australian market closed lower yesterday by 47
points or just over 1pct, this morning the All Ordinaries index
(XAO) turned the corner opening up 34 points higher.
The mining sector the best performing sector this morning
after a lift in commodity prices like; gold, oil, copper and
By lunchtime the All Ordinaries was up 42 points or 1 pct
ahead of the release of China´s fourth-quarter economic growth
), retail sales and industrial production numbers out later
The S&P/ASX 200 Materials index (a measure of performance
for companies in the mining sector) had added 1.6 pct as The
world's largest miner BHP Billiton (
) added 1.25 pct or 45 cents to $36.43 while RIO Tinto Limited (
) up 1.02 pct to $65.55 as investors eagerly await RIO's fourth
quarter operations review due out later today. Fortescue Metals
Group Limited (FMG) up 3.46 pct ahead of its second quarter
production report and after yesterday's news that Fortescue had
upgraded its estimated magnetite resource. Grange resources (
) reported is quarterly output numbers today. Grange is currently
Australia's leading magnetite producer. Today Grange said it
increased production at higher concentrate levels and this had
helping it lower its cost of production and increase margins,
Grange shares up 0.92 pct to $0.55. OZ Minerals Limited (OZL)
shares were also higher in early trade up 1.44 pct to $10.56, and
Alumina Limited (
) gaining up over 2 pct.
In the energy sector, uranium producer Paladin Energy Limited
(PDN) lead the gains after telling the market it had hit record
uranium production over the last quarter. The company said
production from both its sites in Namibia and Malawi totalled
1.82 million pounds in the December quarter, up 47 pct from the
September quarter. Paladin shares up 9.8 pct or $0.15 cents to
Oil prices increased overnight and continued to move higher in
early Asian trade now at US$99.47 a barrel. Woodside Petroleum
(WPL) is managing to record some modest gains at lunch, up 1.52
pct or $0.44 cents to $33.45.
The S&P/ASX 200 Financials index (a measure of performance
for companies in the financial sector) rallied higher this
morning, even with more negative broker reports and media
expectations of cuts in staffing due to cutbacks in business
activity. The Index was up 0.87 pct to 3,986. The four majors
added over 0.5 pct each with National Australia Bank (NAB) up
0.7pct, ANZ Banking Group (ANZ) also up 0.7 pct or $0.16 cents to
$21.02, Westpac (WBC) added 0.8 pct or $0.17 cents to $20.54 and
Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) lifted by 0.75 pct to
After weakness in the insurance sector last week our major
insurers regained more ground in morning trade with QBE Insurance
(QBE) adding 3.37pct or $0.38 cents to $11.63 and Suncorp Group
Limited (SUN) up nearly 1 pct to $8.33.
Yesterday the Construction firm, Leighton Holdings (LEI) has
said that its underlying profit for the six months to December
2011 would be stronger than previously forecast. LEI shares
continued to move higher again today up another 3.45 pct or $0.74
cents to $21.19.
The retail sector also reversed recent falls, the S&P/ASX
200 Consumer Discretionary adding 1.2 pct with department store
owner David Jones Limited (DJS) up 0.8 pct or $0.02 cents to
$2.34 while its competitor Myer Group Limited (MYR) up 1.23 pct
or $0.02 cents to $2.05.
The Australian dollar (AUD) is steady against the U.S. Dollar,
1 Australian dollar will now buy you US103.37 cents and higher
against the euro at €0.81.50 cents.
Juliana Roadley, CommSec Market Analyst
[Kick off your trading day with our newsletter]
More from IBT Markets:
Follow us on Facebook.
Follow us on Twitter.
Subscribe to get this delivered to your inbox daily