The Australian sharemarket managed to improve modestly for the first time this week, with the All Ordinaries Index (XAO) rising by just 0.1 per cent. Despite the gains, local shares slumped by 2.9 per cent over the past five sessions. Weakness from the miners continues to be a drag on trade, with iron ore prices slumping by around 15 per cent in just a month. The moves by BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto and Fortescue are quite closely correlated to iron ore price moves in general.
A man monitors stock market prices inside a brokerage in Taipei in this March 17, 2011 file photo.
Global markets provided little in the way of positive movements to react to overnight. European markets continued to be weighed down by concerns in Cyprus.
The past five days have been eventful, with the Labor Party's strange leadership challenge demanding much of the attention. There were good signs for the Chinese manufacturing sector yesterday in a report yesterday. Mid-week, David Jones (DJS) reported a $73.5M net profit in the previous half. This helped lift its shares on Wednesday.
Construction company Leighton Holdings (LEI) had its worst day of 2013 following the resignation of its Chairman, Mr Stephen Johns and two Non-executive Directors, Mr Wayne Osborn and Mr Ian Macfarlane AC. According to the company's official note to the market, "They have resigned following what they perceive to be a breakdown in relations with the major shareholder Hochtief and their view that Hochtief no longer supports an independent Board."
NSW based coal producer, Whitehaven Coal (WHC) announced a number of cost cutting measures including 40 jobs cuts. Its shares fell 2.6 per cent, taking the falls this year to 37 per cent.
Billabong (BBG) was one of the best performers today, rising 7.9 per cent. Yesterday the surfwear retailer slumped by 14.2 per cent and forced the company to enter a trading halt to investigate the slump. At 6.19pm (AEDT) BBG said that it "...is not aware of the reasons for that increased level of trading." BBG shares have lost 91 per cent of their value in a little over three years.
The volume and value of shares traded this week has been significant as investors reacted to a troubled Cyprus and the index options expiry which took place yesterday.
[Kick off your trading day with our newsletter]
More from IBT Markets:
Follow us on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter
Subscribe to get this delivered to your inbox daily
Most Popular Slideshows
- Australia Bids Adieu to Adam Spencer's Mornings on ABC's "702 Breakfast" Show [PHOTOS]
- Top 10 Hottest Celebrities with Shocking Weight Loss (And Find Out Their Secrets!) [PHOTOS]
- SEE PHOTOS! Eva Longoria Wears No Panties at Cannes 2013, Revealed in Embarrassing Wardrobe Malfunction [SLIDESHOW]
- Demi Lovato Snapped Getting Flirty with The X-Factor Boss, Simon Cowell? [PHOTOS]