The Australian share market remains in the red on Thursday, despite predictions of a solid session. Overnight, Wall Street recorded its best gains in more than a month, rising 0.7 per cent and setting the SPI futures up for a 0.3 per cent gain locally.
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Aug. 8, 2011.
While the market did rise on open, investor nervousness appears to have set in at lunchtime, sending local stocks down by 0.7 per cent.
Mining, energy and financial players are all lower. We saw generally weaker trade in commodity markets overnight contributing to the downfall in the material and energy sectors.
Investor uncertainty ahead of the Federal Election on Saturday can certainly be attributed to the downfall. Salary sacrificing company McMillan Shakespeare (MMS) is up 3.2 per cent at lunchtime to $13.56.
In economic data today, the Performance of Services Index (PSI) showed a further contraction in the services sector in August. The PSI fell 0.4 points to a reading of 39. The index has now remained below 40 points for two consecutive months, the lowest levels since the GFC related downturn in 2008-09.
Trade data released today showed a trade deficit of $765M in July, versus our consensus of a deficit of $200M. Exports were flat in the month while imports were up 4 per cent on the month.
So far on the market, a total of 812 million shares changed hands, worth $2 billion. 379 are up, 391 are down and 269 are unchanged.
The Australian dollar appears to have found support at US91.5c and at lunchtime in the East is worth US91.66c.
Asian markets are mixed in early trade with the NIKKEI in Japan flat, China's Shanghai Composite down 0.2 per cent and the Straits Times up one per cent.
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