(IBTimes) - Lunchtime REPORT
The Australian share market rose for the third consecutive day
yesterday, with the All Ordinaries Index (XAO) edging higher by 7
points to 4,504 points. Overnight the markets were held back by
the news that 11 European countries had now fallen back into
recession, and the Eurozone unemployment rate had hit a record
high of 10.9 pct.
At the open of trade the Aussie market fell slightly lower and
as the day traded on the markets traded sideways. By lunchtime
the All Ordinaries Index (XAO) was still down 7 points to 4,497
points. The early losses were mainly found in the energy and
In the finance sector, the focus once again was on mortgage
rates and company results. After market close yesterday the
National Australia Bank Limited (NAB)
Announced it would cut 32 basis points from its borrowing rates,
on its mortgage and business loans, effective from the 4th of
May. NAB share price climbed 0.28 pct. to $25.16. This morning
the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (
) will lower its standard variable interest rate by 40 basis
points. Standard variable rate will drop to 7.01 pct. effective
from the 11th of May.
Westpac Banking Corporation (
) today reported its first year results. The bank reported a cash
profit of $3.195 million, up 1pct from last year in line with
market expectations. Also WBC's Net Profit after Tax (NPAT) fell
25 pct. to $2.967 million from a year earlier, as expected.
Westpac's Chief Executive Officer (
) Gail Kelly said the bank would reveal its decision on interest
rates tomorrow. WBC share price rose 1.34 pct. to$ 22.99. ANZ
Banking Group (ANZ) share price fell 0.59 pct. to $ 23.66, one
day after reporting a 10 pct. rise in first half NPAT to $2.92
billion. QBE Insurance Group Limited (QBE) stronger up 1.08 pct.
to $ 14.05.
Shares in ASX Limited (
), the company that runs the Australian stock and futures
Exchange, released its quarterly results today. The company
profit was hit by higher cost and lower trading volumes. Shares
in the ASX were down 1.8 pct. to $31.65 after saying its NPAT
fell 2.9 pct. in the nine months to the end of March 2012.
Listing revenue continued to slide over the period off 13.5
Retailer, Harvey Norman Holdings Limited (HVN) reported its
unaudited third quarter sales result today. Harvey Norman's
pre-tax profit for the first nine months till the end of March
2012 fell 25 pct. as sales continued to slide with more weakness
in sales in the last quarter. CEO Gerry Harvey said "aggressive
competitor activity in the audio/video and information technology
sector" hurt sales. HVN share prices fell nearly 5 pct. before
recovering and at lunch it was down 3.6 pct. to $ 1.99.5.
Discount retailer, JB Hi-Fi (JBH) fell by 0.94 pct. to $9.54.
The S&P/ASX 200 Energy index was off 0.75 pct. The US oil
price came off yesterday's highs to US$105.12 a barrel.
Australia's second largest oil and gas producer, Woodside
Petroleum's (WPL) share price lost 1 pct. to $36.29.
Other energy stocks also lower; Santos Limited (
) fell 0.3 pct. and Origin Energy Limited (ORG) down 0.58 pct. to
The mining sector traded mostly lower, with BHP Billiton
Limited (BHP) down 0.3 pct. to $36.14. Rio Tinto Limited (RIO)
slightly higher down 0.9 pct. to $ 65.80 and our largest listed
gold miner Newcrest Mining limited (NCM) giving back yesterday's
gains 0.26 pct. to $ 26.53.
Elsewhere Qantas (QAN) share price was unchanged at $1.63.5
and Virgin Australia Holdings Limited (VAH) shares higher.
Yesterday Virgin released its passenger numbers for March. The
airline carried more passengers over the month but they had put
on more planes and more seats to sell so the airlines overall
capacity level fell. VAH shares up 3.9 pct. to $0.40. Sydney
Airport (SYD) share price was also higher up 1.59 pct. to
In the Telecommunication Services sector, Telstra Corporation
Limited (TLS) turned higher, up 0.14 pct. to $3.58. Singapore
Telecommunications Limited's (SGT) share price unchanged after
telling the market it will restructure its Australian based Optus
business and job cuts yesterday. Today, Hutchison
Telecommunications Australia Limited (HTA) held its Annual
General Meeting (AGM) the company said its new rebuild plans are
on track and shares rallied 7.14 pct.
The Australian dollar (AUD) is buying US102.97 cents and
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