Australian Stock Market Report - Midday 11/28/2011


The Australian sharemarket is gaining for the first time in seven days after a tough week for shares globally. The All Ordinaries index (XAO) is up 1.9 pct or 76.3 pts to 4133.9. All regions of the market are currently improving with the two largest sectors (the miners and financials) leading the charge higher.

BHP Billiton ( BHP ) is up 2.41 pct or 82 cents to $34.87 while the smaller RIO Tinto ( RIO ) is 2.58 pct or $1.60 higher to $63.55. Australia's biggest gold producer, Newcrest Mining (NCM) is up 2.24 pct or 75 cents to $34.17.

The financials are also outperforming the broader sharemarket with National Australia Bank (NAB) up 4.08 pct or 89 cents to $22.71, Westpac ( WBC ) is 3.61 pct or 72 cents higher to $20.22, Commonwealth Bank of Australia ( CBA ) is stronger by 3.55 pct or $1.58 to $46.96 and ANZ Banking Group (ANZ) is 2.5 pct or 47 cents higher to $19.24.

Despite the industrial action which has taken place by Qantas (QAN) employees over the past few months, QAN said it expects to post a profit of approximately $140 to $190 million for the six months between July and December this year. Last week, the airline slumped by around 12 pct but at lunch is 5.15 pct or 7.5 cents higher to $1.53.

All the focus will continue to be on Europe over the coming days with the governments of Italy, Belgium, Spain and France all raising funds over this week via the bond market. Borrowing costs are expected to remain unsustainably high.

Following the start of daylight savings at the start of October, major Asian markets will be trading between the hours mentioned below until April next year (note that over the next month, some of the times might be slightly off due to several countries in the region changing their clocks at differing periods).

The Hong Kong sharemarket trades in two sessions each day and will now open for trade between 1pm (AEDT) and 3.30pm (AEDT) while the second session is between 5.30pm (AEDT) and 7pm (AEDT).

Out of Japan, the first session will be between 11am (AEDT) and 1pm (AEDT) while the second session is between 2.30pm (AEDT) and 5pm (AEDT).

The Singapore exchange will be open for trade between 12pm (AEDT) and 3.30pm (AEDT) for the first session and then between 5pm (AEDT) and 8pm (AEDT) for the second.

Asian markets are mostly higher with Japan's Nikkei 225 index up 1.72 pct or 140.73 pts to 8300.74, shares in South Korea are up 1.85 pct or 32.87 pts to 1809.27 and stocks in the Philippines are a touch higher also.

No major economic data is scheduled for release today however things should heat up over the next few days.

So far in trade at lunch, 814 million shares have been traded worth $1.62 billion. 474 shares are up, 311 are lower and 326 are currently unchanged.

The Australian dollar ( AUD ) is stronger and buys US98.6 cents.

The AUD is the world's fifth most traded currency behind the U.S dollar, the Euro, Japanese Yen and British Pound. The AUD accounts for around 7 pct of all foreign exchange trades.

Steven Daghlian, Commsec Market Analyst

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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.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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