After a positive start, the local share market is trading flat
at lunchtime in the East, weighed down by losses in the financial
and energy sectors, and some disappointing earnings results. The
All Ordinaries Index (XAO) is weaker by 3pts or 0.1pct to
The financial sector has eased by 0.2pct with shares in the
Commonwealth Bank (
), the weakest out of the big four, down 0.8pct to $49.07.
Ratings agency Standard and Poor's yesterday warned that
Australian bank ratings are at risk from any downturn in the
nation's economy triggered by a downturn in China.
QBE Insurance Group (QBE) shares have been placed in a trading
halt as the company seeks to raise $465 million capital through
both institutional and retail investors. The insurer today
reported a 45pct drop in FY profit to $655 million, citing one of
the worst years for catastrophic events. QBE shares last traded
at $11.50. Shareholders will receive a final dividend of 25c per
share, as previously flagged.
Building and construction materials maker Boral (
) saw its first half profit rise 65pct to $153 million due to
gains from acquisitions, but has warned weak housing markets
continue to affect its underlying performance. BLD shares are
down 5.2pct in early trade at $4.17. Shareholders will receive a
7.5c interim dividend.
Meanwhile building materials company James Hardie (
) has increased its underlying profit and maintained its full
year guidance, however its 3Q result was weaker than expected.
JHX shares are down 3.2pct in early trade to $7.30.
The Australian dollar is buying US107.54c at lunchtime in the
East, £0.6796 and €80.26c.
Juliette Saly, CommSec Market Analyst
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