Markets

Australian Stock Market Report - Midday 12/19/2011

MIDDAY REPORT (12pm AEDT)

The Australian share market has started the trading week on a dismal note, after global ratings agency Fitch placed Belgium, France, Cyprus, Ireland, Italy, Slovenia and Spain on credit watch and left France on negative credit watch. At lunchtime in the East, the All Ordinaries Index (XAO) is down more than two percent with selling across the board.

The S&P/ASX 200 Consumer Discretionary is once again in focus today after Friday's falls. Surfwear retailer Billabong ( BBG ) has joined JB Hi-Fi (JBH) in issuing a profit downgrade due to lacklustre Christmas sales. Shares in BBG are down 40pct to $2.18 while JBH continues to fall, down a further 5.6pct to $12 in early trade.

Other retail stocks are also being hit hard, with Myer (MYR) off 6.2pct to $2.12 and David Jones (DJS) weaker by 5.6pct to $2.60.

Shares in Qantas (QAN) have fallen 3pct to $1.475. The airline has struck a deal with one of three unions it´s been battling with. The Aircraft Engineers´ Union says it will now allow Qantas to build the new A380 aircraft offshore, in exchange for an undertaking that existing jobs are safe. Workers will also receive a three percent payrise.

The Australian dollar ( AUD ) is weaker and buys US99.36c.

Craig James, CommSec Chief Economist

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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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