The Australian sharemarket is higher for the third day, with the All Ordinaries Index (XAO) 0.2 per cent stronger. This as the US Senate has voted to not only reopen the government after 16 days of closure, but also to temporarily raise the debt ceiling. The House of Reps is expected to vote next.
An office worker is reflected in the window of the Australian Securities Exchange building displaying the ASX50 curve for Wednesday in central Sydney August 7, 2013.
One of the issues however, is that US politicians are simply kicking the can down the road. The government will reopen but only until mid-January while the debt limit increase will need to be revisited on 7 Feb. This raises the question if the political circus which has taken place this month could take place again in the early part of 2014.
Most sectors are improving locally, however some weakness is being felt by the mining, energy and consumer staple sectors. Australia's biggest miner, BHP Billiton (BHP) is down 0.2 per cent, Rio Tinto (RIO) is 0.9 per cent softer, while Fortescue Metals (FMG) is down 1.1 per cent.
A number of big names have issued their latest quarterly production numbers today. Australia's second largest oil and gas producer (behind only BHP), Woodside petroleum (WPL) announced output of 21.9Mmboe over the three months to September. This was towards the high end of the market's forecasts. It has maintained its production estimates for the full year. WPL is down 1.4 per cent at lunch, however is up around 15 per cent this calendar year.
Australia's biggest gold miner, Newcrest Mining (NCM) announced the production of 586,000 ounces of gold in the September quarter; a 27 per cent improvement on this time last year. Its cost-cutting program continues, however margins continue to be squeezed. The price of gold has slumped by 23 per cent since January. NCM has added US$450 million worth of additional debt facilities, which could trouble markets considering NCM is already highly leveraged. NCM is down 0.8 per cent today and 55 per cent lower this year.
The major banks are improving by as much as 1 per cent, which is helping to keep the market positive. National Australia Bank (NAB) is up 0.9 per cent.
No major market moving economic news is scheduled for release in Australia or the region today. South Korea's jobless rate has improved to 2.7 per cent and all markets should trade normally across Asia Pacific today.
More from IBT Markets:
Follow us on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter
Subscribe to get this delivered to your inbox daily
Most Popular Slideshows
- Paul Walker On Parkour, Stalkers, Sea Life, And Sharks [PHOTOS/ VIDEOS]
- Kourtney Kardashian And Scott Disick: Ready To Get Married And Expectant [PHOTOS/ VIDEOS]
- Paul Walker Death: Antonio Holmes Eyewitness the Porsche Burst Into Flame [PHOTOS/ VIDEOS]
- Watch Out, Robert Pattinson! Kellan Lutz Reveals He Turned Down The Role Of ‘Twilight’ Lead Edward Cullen [PHOTOS/ VIDEOS]