Afternoon Market update
Local stocks ended slightly weaker on Thursday. At face value it was an unflattering result although when measured against the lows of the session, when the index was down 32 points, it was a solid come back.
A man reflects in a window as he passes near clocks at the Warsaw Stock Exchange August 9, 2011. Stock index futures fell sharply on Monday, pointing to further declines in equities, as Standard & Poor's decision to cut the country's top-tier AAA credit rating rattled already jittery investors. Technical charts signaled further losses for a key stock index at a time when the equity markets were also concerned about the possibility of the euro zone debt crisis spreading to countries such as Italy and Spain. Safe-haven assets were in demand, with gold hitting another record high.
The weaker tone seen for global stock since the FOMC statement early this morning talks to the point that continuing Q.E at current levels was factored into prices.
Weakness in the banks was a feature of the day. The group was the only sector to end lower as profit taking took hold. The NAB was the worst of the big four banks. Investors balked at the quality of the result which was compromised by soft revenues, particularly in its domestic banking business which accounts for more than 40% of group profit.
The number of residential building approvals spiked by a solid 14.4% in September, bettering market expectations of a 2.8% rise .The big increase followed an upwardly revised 1.6% fall in August (pervious 4.7%). Multi-unit dwellings were responsible for the lift, rising by 31.8% over the month. The less volatile housing component rose by 1.5%.
TABCORP (TAH) was one of the voices speaking of continued weakness where consumer spending was concerned. At its AGM the group said revenues had risen 3.1% to $503.9m fin the quarter. The Keno business remains hamstrung by a cautious attitude on the part of consumers.
Woolworths (WOW) shares rose by 0.10% having reported a 3% increase in total first quarter sales to $15.7bn, which includes, supermarkets, liquor , petrol stations, Big W ,hotels and home improvement division.
Bega Cheese´s takeover of Warrnambool Cheese and Butter Factory remained in focus today. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission chairman said there was limited overlap between Bega and Warrnambool in relation to the acquisition of raw milk in the dairy region of southwest Victoria and areas of northern Victoria. WCB fell 0.7%, BGA rose 0.46%.
Leighton (LEI) has won a $249 million contract to provide services to the Isaac Planes coal mine in Queensland´s Bowen Basin. The three-year contract includes the operation of a dragline and the supply and maintenance of mobile plant and equipment.
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