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
Join the Conversation
- Russia's New Tactical Nuclear Weapons Program Growing Confident Against the US: Talks of World War III
- Apple and Google Engage in Thermonuclear War, New Google Translate Chat App in the Works
- Kobani ISIS Fighter Sends Out Desperate Message For Prayers And Support: Euphoria Turns Into Desperation As Kurds Advance
- Chris Algieri’s Battered Face Trends On Social Media
- Home Depot Early Black Friday 2014 Sale Up To Nov. 29, 2014 Includes Special Buys On Appliances Such As Samsung Refrigerators, Whirlpool Electric Ranges And Hoover Vacuum Cleaners
- Highest Paid NBA Players 2014: NBA Stars Who Earn More Than LeBron James
- Walmart Offers the Best 2014 Black Friday Deals on iPhone 6, iPad Ai2 & Other Gadgets – Reports