The Australian sharemarket is slipping for the first time in five trading sessions, with the All Ordinaries Index (XAO) down 0.6 per cent at lunch. Continued tensions in Syria and an increased probability of QE tapering in the US later this month are catalysts.
The ASX200 index cracked through 5200pts yesterday; however currently is failing to remain above this level. The last time the index was trading decisively above 5200pts was between mid-2006 and the GFC in 2008.
All sectors are currently in the red, with the defensives amongst the biggest losers. The healthcare stocks are down by 1.5 per cent while Telstra (TLS) was down by as much as 1.1 per cent earlier in the day.
The big four banks received broker upgrades today, however this wasn't enough to lift the sector. The majors are down by at least 0.5 per cent. The miners are mixed however, with gains from Rio Tinto (RIO) and some of the gold producers helping to minimise losses.
Reports overnight that Israel conducted a missile test in the Mediterranean pushed oil and gold prices higher. Gold is higher for the third consecutive month and is 14 per cent stronger than at the end of June. Newcrest Mining (NCM) is up 1.52 per cent. President Obama received the support for action from two top Republicans overnight and Congress is scheduled to vote on whether to become involved in the Syrian crisis next week.
As expected, the Australian economy expanded by 0.6 per cent in the three months to June. Despite GDP printing in line with our expectations, Prime Minister Rudd was quick to jump at the opportunity, saying that it "...underlines the continued strength of the Australian economy".
In the US last night, the best manufacturing survey result in around two years has increased the market's expectations of QE tapering later this month. This pushed bond yields higher.
At lunch, 805 million shares have changed hands, worth $2.09 billion. 353 stocks are higher, 394 are losing ground and 281 remain unchanged.
[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
- America's Top Ten Billionaires [PHOTOS]
- Paul Walker On Parkour, Stalkers, Sea Life, And Sharks [PHOTOS/ VIDEOS]
- Paul Walker Death: Antonio Holmes Eyewitness the Porsche Burst Into Flames [PHOTOS/ VIDEOS]
- A Tribute To Great Actor Paul Walker: Best Quotes From 'Fast And Furious' Films [PHOTOS/ VIDEOS]