Australian Stock Market Report – Midday 1/3/2013

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January 3, 2013 1:53 PM EST

Midday Market Report
(1pm AEDT)

Yesterday the Australian share market started the first day of the 2013 trading year in positive territory up 58 points, its best start to a new year since 2001. Helped by the news that the US House of Representatives finally passed the Senate's 'fiscal cliff' bill this afternoon helping to keep the market positive.

Overnight global stock market followed the Asian market higher as expectation of a better year ahead for markets gathered momentum. Today the Aussie market opened higher and investors moved back out of defensive stocks and back into transport, building construction material firms and smaller mining stocks. The Aussie dollar also gained on the back of the more positive global outlook.

By lunchtime The All Ordinaries Index (XAO) was up 28 points or 0.6% to 4,751.

Commodities also lifted overnight, in London the Base metal markets rallied higher with copper up over 3.5% and this has helped lift demand for small and mid-cap miners in morning trade. Also adding to the interest in the mining stocks today was the lift in precious metals with gold adding another US$14 an ounce overnight to US$1,688 an ounce. St Barbara Limited (SBM) up 3.6% and Newcrest Mining Limited (NCM) up 2.8% to $23.63.

By lunch the S&P/ASX 200 Materials index had gained over 1%. Today the heavy weight BHP Billiton Limited (BHP) was not a star performer but still lifted 0.42% to $38.00 while Rio Tinto (RIO) gained 1.7% to $68.79. Smaller iron ore miner Fortescue Metals (FMG) continuing its solid run up 2.4% to $5.04. While small level, WA and Tasmanian based, iron ore miner Grange Resources Ltd (GRR) lifted over 6%. Gindalbie Metals Limited (GBG) also added another 1.6% in early trade. Sundance Resources Limited (SDL) shares gave back some of its recent gains off 1.3%

Also in the material sector, small cap stocks like Lynas Corporation Limited (LYC) added 4.17% to $0.62c and OZ Minerals Limited (OZL) up 5.3%.

Today S&P/ASX 200 Industrial sector started off well as mining related service and transport stocks rallied higher. The mining and engineering service provider Clough Limited (CLO) was up 4.17% and Macmahon Holdings Limited (MAH) up 13.73%. While pallet and container pooling solutions provider Brambles Limited (BXB) lifted by another 0.5% and Bradken Limited (BKN) was up 3.67%.

The S&P/ASX 200 A-REIT (the property sector) was lower off 1%, as investors sold out of defensive stocks. Westfield Group (WDC) off 1.26% and Dexus Property Group (DXS) off 2.18%.

Seven West Media Limited, (SWM) was once again the standout in the Media sector up another 3.6% and the Fairfax Media Limited (FXJ) share price added another 1.9%.
The big four banks on our index listed small gains in early trade. Westpac Banking Group (WBC) up 0.25% to $26.16. Commonwealth Bank of Australia's (CBA) the best performer of the big four hit a new record hit this morning or 63.19 and by lunch was holding at $63.07.

Australia's biggest telecommunications company, Telstra (TLS) lifted up 0.7% to $4.47.
We saw nice gains in travel related stocks with Flight Centre Limited (FLT) up 2.05% to $27.84 and Wotif.com Holdings Limited (WTF) up 2.79% to $5.53 with Webjet Limited (WEB) up 3.4% to $4.55.

The Aussie dollar climbed in the early session against most currencies breaking through 105 US cents and now at 1pm AEDT the Aussie dollar is buying US104.86c and €79.64c.

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