The All Ordinaries Index (XAO) lost ground from the start of today's trading session hit by weakness in the banking sector. Overnight the US Dow Jones Index overnight, closed weaker after the latest statement from the US central Bank (The Federal Reserve) showed little change over the last month.
Asian stock markets were volatile on 16 October (Reuters).
The Federal Reserve did not make any mention of the recent US shut down or what is plans are for reducing stimulus.
As the morning has gone on the market has recovered some ground but the banking sector is still reducing gains on the index by over 15pts. Australian share market was trading down 4points at lunchtime on Thursday, after hitting five year highs earlier this week.
The focus today is once again on company news. The banking sector led lower by National Australia Bank Limited (NAB) after reporting its Full Year 2013 result this morning. NAB reported a cash profit in line with market expectations of $5.94Billion for the 12months to September 30th up 9.3%. The NAB share prices fell over 5% on the open, this morning, and by lunch was still down 2.36%. The reason for the fall is the below the line numbers and cost associated with its UK business. NAB's UK unit is showing signs of improvement but it is taking time. NAB's CEO Cameron Clyde told the market he is seeing signs of improvement in the Australian economy and consumer confidence. Westpac Banking Corporation (WBC) and Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) also down over 1%. Macquarie Group (MQG) down 1% ahead of its Full year results release tomorrow.
In other company news, food and beverage retailer Woolworths Limited (WOW) reported a solid lift in quarterly sales up 3% despite subdued retail conditions, and a slide in sales from Big W. WOW share price lifted in morning trade and boosted like retail stocks Wesfarmers (WES) and Metcash Limited (MTS) up 1.5%.
Elsewhere, gambling firm Tabcorp (TAH) has told investors they are positioning Tabcorp for the future as it enters its 20th year of operation in 2014. At its Annual General Meeting (AGM) today after securing key licence extensions; NSW TAB retail wagering exclusivity extended to 2033 and its Queensland Keno licence extended to 2047. TAB confirmed its group revenues hit $503.9 million, up 3.1% in 1Q13 Y/Y. TAH shares fell 0.14% to $3.59 at lunchtime. Tatts Group Limited (TTS) share price traded higher up 0.16%
Mining stocks traded higher boosted by steel and building stocks with BlueScope Steel Limited (BSL) up 2.5% and Fletcher Building Limited (FBU) up 1.9% while Adelaide Brighton Limited (ABC) added over 3%.
After yesterday's solid AGM results JB Hi-Fi Limited (JBH) continued to climb today up 2.96%.
The Australian dollar climbed higher in the AM session to be just below $0.95 USC.
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