The Australian share market seems unlikely to make it 11 wins in a row, following falls on Wall Street overnight. Despite a flat start and entry into positive territory, stocks are in the red at lunchtime in the East. The All Ordinaries Index (XAO) is down 15.7pts or 0.3pct to 4903.4.
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on May 1, 2012.
If the market somehow manages to turn around in the afternoon session and make it 11 wins in a row, it will equal the longest winning streak for the All Ordinaries Index since July 2009, and the longest winning streak on the ASX 200 since October 2003.
Financial stocks are flat at lunchtime, while mining and energy players are dragging us lower. Shares in Rio Tinto (RIO) are weaker by 0.7pct to $66.63 while Santos (STO) is off 1.2pct to $11.99.
Woolworths (WOW) has today come out with first half sales numbers, total sales rising 3.2% to $30.68 billion. 1H liquor sales rose 4.7% to $20.5B, while total supermarket sales were up 3.7% to $26.2B. Big W sales were a little disappointing while WOW will write down $66 million due to the sale of its electronics business. WOW shares are down 1.5pct at lunchtime to $31.18.
Elsewhere, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has approved Virgin Australia's (VAH) $98 million plan to buy regional airline Sky West. The competition watchdog says the purchase is unlikely to lead to a substantial lessening of competition. VAH shares are firmer by 1.2pct to 43c at lunchtime while Qantas (QAN) is up 1.3pct to $1.52.
New home sales increased in December, marking the third consecutive monthly rise, according to the Housing Industry Association. Total new home sales were up 6.2pct in December 2012 while new home sales increased by 3.3pct in the December quarter but were still 12.7pct lower than the level of sales in the same quarter in 2011.
The Australian dollar is worth US104.24c, £0.6598 and €76.83c.
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