The US markets turned higher into the close of trade. With Apple share and related tech stocks rallying higher. Today on the Australian share market we saw investors buying back into fiancé stocks and key banks. The materials and energy stocks rose in morning trade even with a fall in metal and oil prices overnight. By lunchtime in the East, the All Ordinaries Index (XAO) was up 13 points after starting 23 points higher.
Tim Wimborne / Reuters
People look at market display indicators through the window of the Australian Stock Exchange in Sydney
Today the utilities sector and the technology sector fell in early trade.
AGL Energy (AGK) today told the market it expected its underlying profit to be reduced by $60Million for the FY 2013 year due to cutting back on customer discount in SA and reviewing policies in NSW. But AGL is still expecting to post a rise in its full year underlying profit, mainly because of the profit contribution of its newly purchased, Victorian, Loy Yang A power station. AGL share price was off 2.4% to $14.60. SP AusNet (SPN) off 0.47% to $1.06.
The S&P/ASX 200 Materials sector gained back 0.5% in morning trade. BHP Billiton Limited (BHP) lifted by 0.35% to $34.82. Rio Tinto Limited (RIO) higher adding 0.55% to $58.07. Fortescue Metals (FMG) gained by 2.9% to $4.26. OZ Minerals (OZL) released its Q3 production- result today. OZL listed a strong result and said it is on target to meet its Full Year forecast. Gold production was up 1.8% and copper in-line with market expectations. The result was helped by strong output from its Prominent Hill mine and costs were under control helping OZL lift by 3% in early trade. Iluka Resources Limited (ILU) off 3.06% to $10.14.
The Gold price lifted slightly overnight by US$4 an ounce. Our largest listed gold producers Newcrest Mining Limited (NCM) added 0.2% to $27.20 and St Barbara Limited (SBM) lifted by 1% while Kingsgate Consolidated Limited (KCN) recovered 1.4% to $5.76.
The US$ oil price also lost ground again overnight, falling to US$88.30 a barrel. But the S&P/ASX 200 Energy sector gained slightly in early trade up 0.2%, Beach Energy Limited (BPT) up 2.38% and Woodside Petroleum Limited (WPL) still lower off 1.31% to $35.50 and Santos Limited (STO) slightly higher up 0.6% to $12.01.
Financial stocks regained yesterday's losses, up 0.3%, shares in the National Australia Bank (NAB) up 0.15% to $26.06. Westpac Banking Corporation (WBC) at $25.45 and Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited (ANZ) slightly higher, up 0.27%. QBE Insurance Group Limited (QBE) off 2.56% to $13.68 after a like firm in the US cut its premiums and this could mean that QBE will have to meet the new pricing level to hold market share. Insurance Australia Group Limited (AG) higher after reporting strong premium growth at is Annual General Meeting (AGM) today. AMP Limited (AMP) up 1.19% to $4.69.
GrainCorp Limited (GNC) shares came back 0.4% in early trade after its solid run yesterday on the news that the US-based food processor Archer Daniels Midland Comp (ADM) had confirmation its $2.68Bill takeover bid.
Telstra Corporation Limited (TLS) up 0.7% to $4.06, while Woolworths Limited (WOW) and Wesfarmers Limited (WES) gave back early gains.
The Australian dollar has held flat in early trade at US103.17c and €79.02c.
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