LUNCH TIME REPORT (12.30pm AEST)
The Australian share market lost ground yesterday, with the
All Ordinaries Index (XAO) closing down 22 points to 4,382
points. Overnight the US markets ended mixed and European markets
closed slightly higher. Concerns over Spanish debt and growth
prospects and mixed economic data out of the Unitied States held
back the tech heavy NASDAQ and lead to low volumes being traded
out European markets.
Here at home, the Australian market opened higher, up 8
points. At lunchtime in the East, the All Ordinaries Index (XAO)
has added given back a lot of ground and the index was only up by
3pts to 4,385 points.
The mining sector was in focus this morning as investors await
the quarterly production report from our second largest listed
miner Rio Tinto Limited (
). The S&P/ASX 200 Materials index was up 0.15pct. Rio share
price were up 0.32 pct. or 21 cents to $65.40 while our largest
miner BHP Billiton Limited (
) added 0.3 pct or 10 cents to $34.41. Rumour are building in the
market that RIO and BHP are likely to sell off their diamond
assets to New York based Private equity firm Kohlberg Kravis
Roberts & Company (
). Reports from London's Sunday Times state that KKR is now the
lead bidder from BHP´s Ekati Canadian diamond mine (valued at
around $750 million) and RIO's diamond businesses that are
currently worth around $10 billion.
Iron ore miner BC Iron Limited (BCI) today told the market
that its Nullagine Iron Ore Joint Venture with Fortescue Metals
Group (50- 50 ownership deal) was on track to reach its target
production rate of 5 million tonnes per year. Listing a record
809,753 tonnes were mined over the last quarter at an average
sale prices of US$124 a metric tonne. BCI share price initially
moved higher but buy lunch the share price had fallen 3.1pct. to
Mineral exploration company, Aquila Resources Limited (AQA)
today update its resource estimate for the iron ore project in
South Africa. The news lifted AQA share prices in early trade but
by lunch the price was flat. Explosives and fertiliser firm
Incitec Pivot Limited (
) up 3.16pct. to $3.26 while James Hardie Industries SE (
) share price fell over 1.5pct. to $7.55 on news of a change in
management in its US division.
By lunch time the S&P/ASX 200 Energy sector was off by 0.2
pct. Big name energy firms lost ground in early trade with Santos
Limited (STO) and Woodside Petroleum Limited (WPL) both off a few
cents per share, while Oil Search Limited (OSH) added a few
cents. News out today from the Federal Government that companies
involved in the creation of renewable energy will soon be able to
apply for funding from the government's $10 billion Clean Energy
Finance Corporation (CEFC), which is due to start operating from
The world´s fourth largest uranium producer Energy Resources
of Australia Limited (ERA) saw its share price rose again in
morning trade, up 7.5pct. After ERA's share price increased
6.5pct. yesterday on news that it is pushing ahead with plans to
turn its open-pit Ranger mine, in Northern Territory, into an
underground operation, the company does not yet have the
approvals to do so but the news did excite investors.
The S&P/ASX 200 Financials sector moved higher up 0.27
pct. Of the four major banks National Australia Bank Limited
(NAB) was the best performer in morning trade up 1 pct. to
$24.87. ANZ Banking Group (ANZ) managed to rise 0.30 pct or 14
cents to $23.19. Queensland based finance and insurance firm,
Suncorp Group Limited (SUN) was one of the best performers in
early trade up over 0.7 pct. to $8.19.
The S&P/ASX 200 Consumer Discretionary sector today rose
in early trade, up 0.6pct, helped by media and small retail
stocks. David Jones Limited (DJS) lifted 1.3 pct. and Harvey
Norman (HVN) up over 1.5 pct.
The food and beverage retailers were weaker with Wesfarmers
Limited (WES) only $0.03 higher to $29.20 while Woolworths
Limited (WOW) fell 0.47 pct. to 425.63.
In the medical sector today, CSL Limited (CSL) the blood and
plasma maker share price rose over 3pct. at the open of trade and
by lunch had held on to a 2pct. gain to trade at $37.01 and
Mesoblast Limited (MSB) added 1.5pct.
Elsewhere Telstra Corporation Limited (TLS) share price was
worth $3.37 and Qantas Airways Limited (QAN) higher by 0.3 pct.
In economic news, Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) released the
minutes of its last board meeting held on the 3rd of April. The
minutes showed the RBA is waiting to see the outcome of more
economic data, like the Australian quarterly inflation data due
out next week, before it makes its next move.
The Australian dollar is buying US103.34c and €78.73c.
[Kick off your trading day with our newsletter]
More from IBT Markets:
Follow us on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter