Australian Stock Market Report – Midday 3/17/14
By Steven Daghlian, CommSec Market Analyst | March 17, 2014 1:11 PM EST
The Australian sharemarket is slightly weaker for the fifth time in six trading sessions. Concerns relating to a referendum on the future of Crimea in Ukraine is keeping investors on edge. The vote is considered by the West to be an illegal undertaking. One of the reasons why markets are a little concerned is that Russia supplies Europe with more than a quarter of its oil and gas import requirements.
Passers-by walk past a stock quotation board outside a brokerage in Tokyo on 4 December, 2013 (Reuters).
Almost all sectors kicked off the trading day in the red, with the exception of the miners and telcos. At lunch however; the industrials, financials and some property trusts have joined in on the gains.
BHP Billiton (BHP) and Rio Tinto (RIO) are slightly firmer while iron ore producer Fortescue Metals (FMG) is 0.9 per cent softer. Last week, the miners slumped by 5 per cent; the worst weekly performance for the industry in nine months.
A number of big names are trading ex-dividend today, which is keeping the market in the red. Woolworths (WOW), Primary Healthcare (PRY) and Leighton Holdings (LEI) are all significantly softer. WOW is down 2.2 per cent, PRY is 0.72 per cent lower and LEI is losing 4.7 per cent.
The big four banks are mostly lower, with the exception of ANZ Banking Group (ANZ) which is up 0.82 per cent. Commonwealth Bank (CBA) is down 0.36 per cent, National Australia Bank (NAB) is 0.23 per cent lower and Westpac (WBC) is easing by just 0.1 per cent.
The Australian dollar remains above US90c; currently buying US90.3c.
There is no major economic news scheduled for release in Australia or the region today to drive markets. Almost all global sharemarkets should be trading normally today. Today is a public holiday in India.
At lunch, 735.6 million shares have changed hands, worth $1.27 billion. 377 stocks are higher, 374 are lower and 313 are unchanged.
More from IBT Markets:
Follow us on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter
Subscribe to get this delivered to your inbox daily
Most Popular Slideshows
- Kate Middleton Suffocated in Kensington Palace, Queen Elizabeth Reported War With The Duchess [PHOTOS]
- Brad Pitt Still in Love with Ex-Wife Jennifer Aniston, Staying with Angelina Jolie for Sake of Kids, Claims Brad's Psychic
- British Style Icon Kate Middleton Fashion Talk With Camilla Parker-Bowles Daughter-In-Law [PHOTOS]
- Transfer News: Manchester United's Possible Transfer Options For This Season
Join the Conversation
- James Foley Beheading Video Has Play-Acting Portions – Video Experts Say
- Apple iPhone 6 Release Date, iPhone 6C or 6L Anticipation: Three Things Should Matter To New Phone Shoppers
- Upcoming Sony Xperia Z3 With Dual-SIM Support Gets Approved In China; Full Specifications Revealed; Amber-Coloured Xperia Z3 Tipped
- More Nexus 8/Nexus 9 Release Confirmed with More Leaks and Out of Stock Nexus 7 and 10
- James Foley: Release of Beheading Video by ISIS Meant to Attract More Recruits to Join the Cause – Intelligence
- 2015 Ford Mustang: Right-Hand Drive Pony Car To Be Available In Australia Next Year
- James Foley: ISIS Demanded Multimillion Ransom, US Refused To Pay---Reports