Australian Stock Market Report - Midday 3/30/2012


(1pm AEDT)

Over the last few day global markets have been hit by more concern over the global slowdown and European debt problems. Overnight the US markets finished mixed with the DOW Jones climbing higher in the last few minutes of trade but the NASDAQ still finishing in the red. Today is the last day of the quarter and the ASX 200 index looks set to close the quarter up over 7pct. By lunch the All Ordinaries Index (XAO) had risen by 16points or 0.38pct to 4,438 points.

Energy stocks were among the biggest drags on the market with the S&P/ASX 200 Energy index off 0.6pct, After the US crude oil prices continued to slide. The Nymex contract fell by over 2pct again overnight to US$103.40 a barrel. Shares in energy producers Woodside Petroleum Limited (WPL) and Santos Limited ( STO ) have fallen around 1.5pct, while Caltex Australia Limited (CTX) has lifted 0.07pct to $13.87 and Oil Search Limited ( OSH ) up 0.29pct to $6.93.

All eyes on the retail sector today with Metcash Limited ( MTS ) one of our large wholesale distribution and grocery marketing company being place in to a trading halt, shares last traded at $4.30. Rumours circulating in the markets suggest that Metcash will be announcing a downgrade, in the form of impairment charges, in its Franklins supermarket business . The company said "A trading halt is requested pending a board meeting on Monday April the 2nd."

News out from Wesfarmers Limited ( WES ), the owner of Bunnings and Coles stores, that the company will expand its hardware business, Bunnings. WES said it will spend $1.5 billion on rolling out 85 new stores in Australia, creating around 6,000 new jobs in the next three years. Wesfarmers share prices lifted 0.67pct to $29.93. Wesfarmers rival in the food and beverage and hardware market Woolworths (WOW) share price up 0.86pct to $ 25.86. Coca-Cola Amatil Limited ( CCL ) is up 1pct to $12.49.

The COMEX gold prices rebounded overnight, with the US gold price lifting to US$1,665 up US$10 in early Asian trade. Australia's largest listed gold miner Newcrest Mining Limited (NCM) is still in the red, off another 0.9pct to $29.94 today. Regis Resources Limited (RRL) regaining yesterday's losses up 2pct to $4.08 and Kingsgate Consolidated Limited (KCN) has climbed 1pct.

Materials stocks are a lot rosier today, Rio Tinto Limited, (RIO) has added 2.5pct to $65.98 and rival BHP Billiton Limited (BHP) also higher up 1.6pct to $34.80. Shares in chemical maker, Orica Limited (ORI) up 2.4pct to $28.08 and global package maker Amcor Limited (AMC) added over 1.5pct. One of the winners in the metal space today is Atlas Iron Limited (AGO) up 2.29 pct to $2.90.

The Construction and service firm, Leighton Holdings (LEI) is still feeling the pain from its recent downgrade, its share price off another 1.13pct to $21.91.

Elsewhere, News Corp (NWS) is up 0.24pct, and Telstra (TLS) is flat at $3.30.

Today the Housing Industry Association (HIA) new home sales data for the month of February has been released. The result was better than expected with new home sales lifting by 3pct after a 7.3pct slide in January. New detached homes increased by 2.2pct and the sale of multi-unit' also higher.

The Australian dollar is higher in early trade up to US104.10c and €77.97c.

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

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: CCL , MTS , OSH , STO , WES

International Business Times

International Business Times
  • See all for International Business Times
  • View Print Version

More from International Business Times:

Related Videos




Most Active by Volume

  • $15.81 ▼ 1.43%
  • $8.50 ▼ 6.80%
  • $128.46 ▼ 1.50%
  • $25.99 ▲ 0.39%
  • $5.12 ▲ 7.34%
  • $6.63 ▲ 5.41%
  • $16.68 ▼ 3.02%
    $2.08 unch
As of 2/27/2015, 04:15 PM

Find a Credit Card

Select a credit card product by:
Select an offer:
Data Provided by