Australian Stock Market Report – Afternoon 3/6/14
By Steven Daghlian, CommSec Market Analyst | March 6, 2014 6:43 PM EST
The Australian sharemarket ended unchanged, following two days of gains. Despite the market's uninspiring finish, the All Ordinaries Index (XAO) is still trading at a five and a half year high. Better than expected retail spending and international trade reports briefly propped the sharemarket higher earlier today.
Tim Wimborne / Reuters
People look at market display indicators through the window of the Australian Stock Exchange in Sydney
Tensions continue in Ukraine; however the price of oil has fallen by around 1.5 per cent for two straight days. Investors are hoping a diplomatic solution will take place eventually. Oil and gas producer, Santos (STO) rose by 0.86 per cent while Woodside Petroleum (WPL) fell by 0.29 per cent. About a quarter of Europe's oil and gas needs are provided by Russia with pipelines through Ukraine delivering a large chunk of the oil and gas.
A monthly report on retail spending today beat market estimates. Retail trade rose for the ninth straight month, surging by 1.2 per cent in January. Annual spending has lifted by 6.2 per cent; the biggest monthly surge in four years. Traditionally January tends to be a slow month for retailers (Christmas spending hangover). Spending rose in a number of different types of retail businesses, such as furniture, floor covering retailers, housewares, cafes and restaurants. Retailers David Jones (DJS), Myer (MYR) and JB Hi-Fi (JBH) all finished significantly firmer by the close.
Billabong (BBG) slumped by 1.6 per cent as news that the surfwear retailer could be facing a class action from investors surfaced. BBG shares slumped by 44 per cent in just one day following a profit downgrade in December 2011. Just four months earlier, BBG had forecast profit growth.
A bigger than expected $1.4 billion trade surplus was posted in January ($840m improvement in December). This is the biggest trade surplus in two and a half years. Trade with China makes up 36.3 per cent of Australia's total exports.
Qantas (QAN) rose by 0.88 per cent today after the Sale Amendment Bill (which would lift foreign ownership limits) passed the lower house. The bill still needs to pass a Senate Vote (which seems unlikely).
At the close, 2.1 billion shares changed hands, worth $5.3 billion. 502 stocks finished higher, 464 in the red and 340 were unchanged.
Tonight, both the European Central Bank and the Bank of England will be holding their monthly meetings. No change to rates is expected from either central bank. Tomorrow night, the monthly U.S. non-farm payrolls (most important American jobs report will be out). This could set the tone for Australian shares early next week.
More from IBT Markets:
Follow us on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter
Subscribe to get this delivered to your inbox daily
Most Popular Slideshows
- NFL MNF: Washington Redskins 20, Dallas Cowboys 17 (OT) [PHOTOS]
- Emma Watson Gets 'Squished' In 'Colonia Dignidad' [PHOTOS]
- 2014 MLB World Series Game 3: Kansas City Royals 3, San Francisco Giants 2 [PHOTOS]
- San Francisco Giants Beat Kansas City Royals, 3-2 In Game 7, Wins 2014 MLB World Series [PHOTOS]
Join the Conversation
- Dismantling Of Fukushima Reactor 1 Faces Delays, US Judge Gives Sailor Go Signal To Push Through Lawsuit Against TEPCO Over Radiation
- Slow-Moving Yet Unrelenting Hawaii Lava Now Only Inches Away From Pahoa Homes
- ISIS Has Been Equipped With Advanced Anti-Aircraft Missiles
- Canada’s Official ISIS Mission Starts On Weekend; Kuwait Uneasy
- Ebola Divides The US: More States Begin Applying Stricter Guidelines Than What CDC Imposed
- Marvel Announces Release Dates Of 11 Upcoming Movies From 2015 To 2019
- Nokia Lumia 730 v. Sharp Aquos Crystal – Specifications, Features And Price Showdown
- Xiaomi Becomes World’s Third Largest Smartphone Manufacturer By Dethroning Huawei
- Entry Of Peshmerga Fighters From Iraq Boosts The Kobani Battle Against ISIS: Turkey Provides Transit
- Apple iPhone 6 Plus vs Motorola Droid Turbo: Comparsion On Processor, Software And Battery
- Nexus 6, 9 Buyers on November Release Will Enjoy These 3 Killer Lollipop 5.0 Features First
- Australia Special Forces Await 'Delayed' Iraqi Visas Before Joining ISIS Fight