Australian Stock Market Report – Afternoon 12/13/13

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By Juliette Saly, CommSec Market Analyst | December 13, 2013 5:27 PM EST

(5pm AEDT)

The Australian share market snapped its longest losing streak in 17 months today, rising for the first time in seven sessions despite a weak offshore lead.

The All Ordinaries Index (XAO) added 32.3pts or 0.6 per cent to 5101.5 after being as low as 5053.1pts.

Still it's been one of the worst Decembers so far for the market in 40 years with little evidence of a Santa Claus rally so far. The market has only been higher two sessions this month. The All Ords is down 1.6 per cent on the week and 4 per cent on the month so far.

Westpac (WBC) today held its AGM with the company's Chairman issuing a more bullish outlook for 2014 due to the low Australian dollar and record low interest rates. WBC believes that stronger sentiment in the economy will lead to more borrowing next year. WBC shares added 0.6 per cent by close to $31.

QBE Insurance (QBE) had a better day, rising 1.9 per cent to $10.60. However QBE shares fell 31.4 per cent over the course of the week following Monday's shock profit warning.

In economic news, total lending finance fell by 1.6 per cent in October - only the second fall in nine months. However in trend terms lending is growing at the fastest annual pace in almost six years.

On the market overall, a total of 1.5 billion shares changed hands, worth $5.1 billion. 473 were up, 435 were down and 339 were unchanged.

At 4.30pm AEDT the SFE 200 Futures Index was at 5095, up 38 points.

The Aussie dollar fell to a four month low today on speculation the US central bank could start winding back its bond buying program next week. The AUD was worth US89.21c in afternoon trade.

In the US, the producer price index is issued.

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