Australian Stock Market Report – Midday 1/2/2013

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By Juliana Roadley, Commsec Market Analyst | January 2, 2013 2:08 PM EST

Midday Market Report
(12.40pm AEDT)

The Australian share market started the first day of the 2013 trading year in positive territory up 20 points.

Global stock market and commodity markets closed higher on Monday, before the New Year's break, but the stalemate over US budget talks kept the run in mining and service sectors stocks a little muted in early trade. But as the day went on the markets pushed aside overseas concerns and rallied higher.
The fact that the US congress is still debating is budget resolution and the house Republicans are still arguing about what would be the best deal for the people saw selling of the US dollar and strong buying in strong interest in Asian shares.

Media Reports - now saying that the US House of Representatives will meet on Senate Fiscal Cliff Bill (with no amendments) and voting could take a few hours. they are set to meet between 1-2pm Sydney time AEDT

By lunchtime The All Ordinaries Index (XAO) was up 42 points or 0.9% to 4,707 points.

On Monday in London the Base metal and gold markets rallied higher, and this has helped lift our miners today. Also adding to the interest in the mining stocks today was the 3.8% lift in the spot iron ore price on Monday. The China Import (Fines 62% FE) iron ore price lifted up $5.50 to US$144.90 a dry tonne. By lunch the S&P/ASX 200 Materials index had gained over 1.46 with BHP Billiton Limited (BHP) adding 1.1% to $37.53 and Rio Tinto (RIO) up by 1.7% to $67.14. Smaller iron ore miner Fortescue Metals (FMG) continuing its solid run up 2.47% to $4.74. While small level iron ore miner Grange Resources Limited (GRR) gave back recent gains after replying to the ASX's price enquiry saying "it was not aware of any reason for the lift in its share price on Monday, the 31st of December 2012," off 4.29%. Gindalbie Metals Limited (GBG) rallied over 11% after announcing it had made its first shipment of ore, magnetite, from the Karara iron ore project in Western Australia. Sundance Resources Limited (SDL) shares added another 2% to $0.37.75cents.

Today S&P/ASX 200 Industrial sector started off well as mining related service and transport stocks rallied higher. The index was up over 1.45% by lunchtime. Service provider Als Limited (ALQ) lifted 3.89% and Boart Longyear Limited (BLY) added 5.6% to $1.98. Pallet and container pooling solutions provider Brambles Limited (BXB) lifted by 1.13% to $7.59 and Bradken Limited (BKN) was up 4.7%.

Seven West Media Limited, (SWM) was the standout in the Media sector up 4.8% to 41.72 and the Fairfax Media Limited (FXJ) share price added another 1.965%. Rivals in the Media space; News Corporation (NWS) lifted by 2.57% to $25.13 while Ten Network Holdings Limited (TEN) listed a 1.7% gain to $0.29.5.

The big four banks started off quiet but by lunch they had along-side the rest of the market. Westpac Banking Group (WBC) lifted 0.27% to $26.11. Commonwealth Bank of Australia's (CBA) the best performer of the big four was just off a new record hit this morning at $62.56.

Australia's biggest telecommunications company, Telstra (TLS) reversed Monday's slide up 1.37% to $4.43.

On the economic front data out today showed that manufacturing was flat in December. The AIG Performance of manufacturing index was unchanged after NOV read revised higher to 44.3 points. But still showing that manufacturing has still contracted for last 10 months.

The RP Data Rismark Home Value Index reveals that capital city home prices fell 0.3% in December. Over 2012, home prices fell 0.4%. In December, house prices fell by 0.1% with apartment prices down by 1.1%. Over 2012, house prices are down 0.5% while apartment prices were up 0.5%.

The Aussie dollar climbed in the early session against most currencies. At 12.40 AEDT the Aussie dollar is buying US104.36c and €78.78c.

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