(IBTimes) - Lunchtime REPORT
The Australian share market closed higher yesterday even with
a slight slump in the last 2 hours of trade after the weaker than
expected trade data out of China, the All Ordinaries Index (XAO)
ended up 22points.
Overnight no new news was good news for the European markets.
We are still at a stale mate in Greece and none of the smaller
political parties can agree to unite to form a coalition
government and it does look like the Greek people will have to go
back to the polls. European shares lifted for four-month low,
with most key index's closing higher.
In the US mixed data and weak corporate news lowered the gains by
We saw the US trade deficit widening at its fastest rate 10
months in March and less people signing up for unemployment
benefits in the last week. After the bell in the US concerns over
big losses from trading banks over the last 3 weeks pushed the US
DOW futures into the red and set the Australian markets up to
The Australian market opened slightly lower this morning, the
All Ordinaries Index (XAO) started down 3 points, ahead of the
all-important Chinese economic data, retail sales, inflation, out
later today. By lunchtime the All Ordinaries Index (XAO) had lost
a little more ground and was down 19 point to 4,335 points.
The banking sector was once again in focus after the US
afterhours news that J.P. Morgan Chase & Company. (JPM.NY)
said it had issued note saying it had "significant" credit
portfolio loss, said to be around $2 billion. JPM.NY share price
fell over 7% in US afterhours trade and this has put a real
dampener on our banking sector today.
S&P/ASX 200 Financials sector lost 0.48% in early trade,
our big 4 banks all lower while key insurers listed small gains.
Westpac Banking Corporation (
), off 0.48% to $22.79, Commonwealth Bank of Australia (
) down 0.45% to $51.66. National Australia Bank Limited's (NAB)
share price fell 1.2% to $24.31. Australia and New Zealand
Banking Group Limited (ANZ) was off nearly 0.5% to $22.00, as
investors await the outcome of its interest rate meeting today.
AMP Limited (
) higher by 1.9% and QBE Insurance Group Limited (QBE) added
another 0.38% to $13.27.
Global media giant, News Corporation (
) continued to rally higher again today after yesterday's strong
profit announcement. News Corp climbed another 0.69% to
Commodity prices stabilised overnight, base metal prices were
mixed in the London Metals Exchange (LME). Zinc was the best
performer up 1.5%, while copper rose 0.5%, for the first time in
seven sessions. Our big name mining stocks were lower in early
trade today ahead of the Chinese, industrial production and
inflation numbers. Today the S&P/ASX 200 Materials sector had
lost 0.45 % by lunchtime. Rio Tinto Limited's (
) share price lost 1.2% to $61.15. BHP Billiton Limited (BHP) off
over 1% to $34.26 and Fortescue Metals Group Limited (FMG) gave
back 2.55% to $5.35.
Overnight the US gold price traded sideways, but in early
Asian trade the gold price has continued its weekly slide and is
now down US$3.00 an ounce to US$1,592 an ounce. Our largest
listed gold miner, Newcrest Mining Limited (NCM) was up another
1.5% to $25.51 and St Barbara Limited (SBM) unchanged at
Benchmark US crude oil prices were mixed on Thursday night as
the weaker than expected Chinese trade data news that The
Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) had pumped
31.62 million barrels last month - above the 30 million barrel
target set in December. But OPEC also announced that they have
now lifted expected oil demand for 2012. Woodside Petroleum
Limited (WPL) rebounded 0.27% to $33.49 as Santos Limited's (STO)
share price lost 0.50% to $12.84. Origin Energy Limited (ORG)
lost yesterday's gains of 1.4% at $13.00 and Oil Search Limited
now at $6.96.
Telstra Corporation Limited (TLS) continued to lose ground
this morning off 1.6% to $3.58 and Hutchison Telecommunications
Limited, the owner of Vodafone, unchanged in early trade.
Elsewhere, SKYCITY Entertainment Group Limited (SKC) told the
market it had again revised its "normalised" Net Profit after Tax
(NPAT) for the 2012 financial year to be in "low $140 millions"
down from the earlier guidance given in February this year when
it expected to see profit in the 'high $140 millions'. The cut
was mainly due to softer than expected trading conditions
especially at its Adelaide casino. Sky shares off 4.9% to
Also, Westfield Group (WDC) off 0.85% to $9.32 and CFS Retail
Property Trust (CFX) off 1.5% to $1.87.
The Australian dollar (AUD) continued to trade lower overnight
and in morning trade. The AUD is currently trading at US$ 100.50
and €77.84 cents.
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