The Australian share market is under selling pressure in the early session, following weakness on US markets overnight and as investors awaited a reading on Chinese manufacturing.
That reading saw a rebound in Chinese manufacturing in August, with PMI coming in at 50.1 up from July's reading of 47.7. The reading saw our market gain a little bit of ground to be down just 0.5 per cent at lunchtime in the East after a more than one per cent fall in early trade.
Overnight, US investors were unimpressed with the lack of detail emanating from the FOMC minutes. Investors had hoped for a timeline as to when the Fed might start winding back its QE3 bond buying program but unfortunately there was little detail.
It's a busy day on the reporting calendar.
Iron ore miner Fortescue Metals Group (FMG) has reported a 12 per cent rise in FY NPAT to US$1.75B. FMG has reiterated a FY14 guidance of 127-133M tons or iron ore shipments. FMG shares were down almost three per cent in the early session but are up three per cent at lunch to $4.21. FMG shareholders will receive a final dividend of 10 cents per share.
Insurance Australia Group, the parent company of the NRMA, has almost tripled its FY13 profit to $776M. The final dividend has almost doubled to 25c per share. IAG shares rose in the early session but are down at lunch by 1.4 per cent to $5.85.
Pallet provider Brambles (BXB) has missed expectations with its FY13 profit of US$640M, sending its share price down 5.3 per cent to $8.69.
The Australian dollar is below US90c at US89.83c.
A total of 933M shares have changed hands so far, worth $2.6B. 290 are up, 441 are down and 266 are unchanged.
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