Australian Stock Market Report - Midday 2/7/2012


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(11.45am AEDT)

After a flat start, the Australian share market is posting modest gains at lunch, thanks to positive moves from telecommunication, industrial and energy stocks. The All Ordinaries Index (XAO) is up 11.3pts or 0.3pct to 4375.9.

The financial sector is fairly flat ahead of this afternoon's Reserve Bank decision on interest rates, and following trading updates from both the National Australia Bank (NAB) and Macquarie Group (MQG). The NAB says first quarter cash earnings rose 8pct to $1.4 billion but that higher funding costs are continuing to impact its business. MQG has flagged a 25pct fall in annual profit and a share buyback, its share price is down 0.5pct to $25.95.

Hearing implant maker Cochlear ( COH ) has reported a first half net loss of $20.4 million due to the recall of one of its hearing implants last year. However Cochlear says those recall costs have now been contained and more importantly a record number of customers received hearing implants in the last six months. Cochlear will also pay a 1H dividend of $1.20 per share, up 14pct on last year. COH shares are up 8pct to $62.68.

Toll road operator Transurban ( TCL ) has reported a 27.1pct increase in first half net profit to $96.6 million and says the M2 upgrade in Sydney is almost 50pct complete, with the project due for completion in 2013. TCL shares are up 1.1pct to $5.58.

The Australian dollar is buying US107.26c, £0.6779 and €81.73c ahead of this afternoon's rate decision. Money markets are tipping a 70pct chance that rates will be cut by 25 basis points, taking the official cash rate to 4pct.

Juliette Saly, CommSec Market Analyst

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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 Nasdaq, Inc.

This article appears in: Investing Commodities
Referenced Stocks: COH , TCL

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