Australian Stock Market Report – Midday 4/11/2012


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(12.45pm AEST)

It was a tough start of the Australian share market. The All Ordinaries Index (XAO) opened 30 points lower after European and U.S. market slumped overnight. U.S. markets listed the worst trading day in 3 months, down for the 5th trading day in a row, as new concerns over European growth and a slowdown in internal Chinese growth hit the markets.

At lunchtime, the All Ordinaries Index (XAO) was down 30 points to 4,342 points. Most market sectors fell with big losses in mining and energy stocks and the banks. Investors moved to into holding defensive stocks with the S&P/ASX 200 HealthCare sector rebounding over 0.3 pct. and the S&P/ASX 200 Consumer Staples index up 0.2 pct.

In the health care sector the standouts were the blood and plasma maker CSL Limited ( CSL ), one of the best performing large stocks today, up 1 pct. to $35.61 and Fisher & Paykel Healthcare Corporation Limited (FPH) up 2.8 pct. to $1.80 and Sigma Pharmaceuticals Limited (SIP) up 0.8 pct.

Food and beverage retailer helped boost the Consumer Staples index with Woolworths Limited (WOW) gaining 0.3 pct. to $25.29 and Coca-Cola Amatil Limited ( CCL ) adding 0.24 pct. to $12.41.

The S&P/ASX 200 Energy sector was down 0.97 pct after a fall in the US oil price again overnight to US$101.20 a barrel. This morning there was more selling occurring in Woodside Petroleum Limited (WPL) shares off another 1.41 pct. to $34.20 and Santos Limited down 1.28 pct. to $13.89 while Beach Energy Limited ( BPT ) lost 1.8 pct. to $1.35.

Financial stocks also lost ground, Shares in the National Australia Bank (NAB) lost 0.69pct to $24.41. Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited (ANZ) off 0.8 pct. QBE Insurance Group Limited (QBE) lost over 3.45pct to $13.43 in early trade whilst rival insurance firms Insurance Australia Group Limited ( IAG ) down 1.45 pct. and Suncorp Group Limited ( SUN ) off another 0.67 pct. back to $8.15.

Qantas Airways Limited (QAN) down 1.9pct. to $1.61, while Skywest Airlines Limited (SXR) continued to climb on yesterday's investment news up 5.4 pct. to $0.39.

Mining stocks also in the red after falls in base metals prices on the London Metals Exchange (LME) and overseas weakness. Rio Tinto (RIO) weaker by 1.5pct to $63.86, with BHP Billiton (BHP) down 1.26 pct or 43cents to $34.82 after touching a six month lows in early trade of $33.71. Meanwhile the gold price continued to climb higher in U.S. trade and this has helped Newcrest Mining Limited (NCM) buck the trend and add 0.6 pct. to $28.99 and OceanaGold Corporation Limited (OGC) up 1.7 pct. to $2.38.

Economic data released this morning showed that consumer confidence had again slumped. The Westpac-Melbourne Institute Index of Consumer Sentiment fell to its lowest Levels since August 2011. For the month of April the index fell Down 1.6% in April to 94.5 index points. Once again more evidence that people are still pessimistic and are deciding to wait & see what is around corner before making a next move. Fears of sovereign default in Europe and a continual slowdown in global growth hitting confidence.

The Australian dollar continued to rebound throughout the morning and is now at US102.75c and €78.50c.

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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: BPT , CCL , CSL , IAG , SUN

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