Yesterday the Australian share market sold off from the open
and the All Ordinaries Index (XAO) closed down 46 points or
1.1pct. After a better night on overseas markets the Australian
market opened 6 points higher this morning. The concerns over
European growth were still around, but investors were happy to
hear that the European Central Bank could extend its bond buying
program if needed to stimulate the economies.
At lunchtime, the All Ordinaries Index (XAO) was up 23 points
to 4,351 points. Most market sectors had rebounded from
yesterday's falls. Investors moved back into mining and
technology stocks while the food and beverage stocks and the
media sector were a little quiet this morning, with the
S&P/ASX 200 Consumer Staples index up only 0.01 pct.
Media sector was in the spotlight with the release of Ten
Network Holdings Limited's (
) first half year results. The result was weaker than the market
had expected with Net Profit after Tax (NPAT) falling over 70
pct. to $14.8 million. The result breakdown showed that TEN's
television segment earnings were just slightly below market
expectations at $56.8 million down 40.2 pct. while the Outdoor
signage business "EYE Corp" was in line with expectations down
25.6 pct. to $7.1 million. The poor result was really to do with
the tough advertising market at present and restructuring cost.
The company had already flagged that it would not be paying a
dividend to shareholder. TEN did not announce any update on the
possible sale of EYE Corp, but did say its company strategic
review was underway. TEN share prices fell over 4 pct. straight
after the open of trade and by lunchtime the shares had rebounded
up 0.66 pct. to $0.76. Rivals, Seven West Media Limited (
) was lower off 0.26% and Consolidated Media Holdings Limited
(CMJ) had increased 1.3%.
Food and beverage retailer, Woolworths Limited (WOW) fell 0.04
pct. to $25.49 and Coca-Cola Amatil Limited (
) flat at $12.32 and retail and mining conglomerate Wesfarmers
) only slightly higher at $29.23.
The health care sector continued to gain today with blood and
plasma maker CSL Limited (
) added 0.34pct. to $35.51 and Cochlear Limited (COH) up 1.33
pct. to $61.51. Fisher & Paykel Healthcare Corporation
Limited (FPH) fell nearly 4 pct. giving back yesterday's
The S&P/ASX 200 Energy sector was up 0.88 pct helped by a
rebound in U.S. oil prices overnight. Woodside Petroleum Limited
(WPL) shares added 0.24 pct. to $34.12 and Santos Limited (STO)
rebounded 1.37 pct. to $14.10. Coal and uranium stocks also doing
well with Whitehaven Coal Limited (WHC) listing a 1.87 pct gain
to $ and Paladin Energy Limited (PDN) up over 2pct.
Financial stocks were flat while insurance stocks gained, as
shares in the National Australia Bank (NAB) increased by 0.8 pct.
to $24.51. Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited (ANZ)
added 0.6 pct. QBE Insurance Group Limited (QBE) regained 1.2 pct
to $13.62 in early trade whilst rival insurance firms Insurance
Australia Group Limited (IAG) added 1.1 pct. but Suncorp Group
Limited (SUN) off another 0.37 pct. back to $8.06.
Mining stocks turned higher after gains in base metals prices
on the London Metals Exchange (LME). Rio Tinto Limited (RIO)
higher by 1.35 pct. to $64.38 and BHP Billiton (BHP) share price
fell 2 pct. yesterday in a negative market and on the news of its
plans to close one of its metallurgical coal mines in Queensland,
which has been losing money due to weaker prices and higher
costs. Overnight in London trade BHP rallied higher up 1.3 pct.
and on the Aussie market today it has gained 0.74 pct. to
The gold price closed slightly weaker in U.S. trade. Newcrest
Mining Limited (NCM) still increased adding 0.3 pct. to $28.94
and OceanaGold Corporation Limited (OGC) up 0.4 pct. to $2.38.
PanAust Limited (PNA), the Aussie gold and copper miner that has
its major mining sites in Laos, today told the market it now
expects to exceed its 2012 production targets for copper. PanAust
also told the market it expects "to produce about 85,000 ounces
of gold in 2012 at a cost of $US550 and $US600 per ounce". PNA
share price lifted 6.37pct. to $3.17.
Economic data out today showed a big increase in the number of
people finding work in the month of March. The Australian Bureau
of Statistics labour force data for March showed that 44,000
people were employed over the month with total employment now
reaching 11.49 million. Full-time employment increased by 15,800
to 8.08 million and 28,200 people started part-time employment.
The result left the unemployment rate still at 5.2 pct.
The Australian dollar continued to rebound throughout the
morning, helped by the positive job data and is now at US103.65c
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