Australian Stock Market Report – Afternoon 5/27/14

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By Juliette Saly, CommSec Market Analyst | May 27, 2014 4:43 PM EST

Afternoon Report
(16:30 AEST)

The ASX 200 spent the afternoon session consolidating having surrendered a 17 point improvement in early trade. The lack of direction felt from the closure of Wall St overnight remained in place in the 2nd half of the day. Volumes were a feature in that that were unusually low with less than $3.6 bln in shares changing hands. Most sectors were higher at the close of trade although the gains were unspectacular.

Reuters
An office worker is reflected in the window of the Australian Securities Exchange building displaying the ASX50 curve for Wednesday in central Sydney August 7, 2013.

Recently listed Ozforex Group (OFX) fell from grace after missing key metrics outlined in its prospectus. OFX provides online international payment services for consumers and businesses in addition to foreign exchange services. The group announced that excluding one-off items and expenses related to its stock market listing last October, in addition to a failed takeover attempt of UK-based competitor HiFX, pro forma net profit rose 33.3 per cent to $20.8 million. The pro forma result was 8.1 per cent above Oz Forex's prospectus forecast of $18.6 million. However, OFX missed key growth indicators outlined in its prospectus including the number of new dealing clients and the number of active clients. OFX shares ended with a loss of almost 19%

Miners were well supported in the context of the day. Investors were reminded that Job shedding remains a feature of the resource sector. BHP Billiton (BHP) announced it may soon start axing jobs at its Worsley Alumina operations in Western Australia. The facility has moved into a stabilisation phase having completed a major expansion of operations last year. Shares in the miner ended at $37.89 a loss of 2 cents. 

The impact of the Federal Budget on households remained front of mind for investors. The ANZ-Roy Morgan measure of consumer confidence fell a further 1.1% to 99.3 in the week ending 25 May. According to the survey, confidence is now down 15% over the past five weeks when various Budget policies first made news headlines. Whilst the decline was in relative terms more modest compared to previous weeks, confidence has now dipped below the 'neutral line' of 100 for the first time since May 2009. Respondents' perceptions of 'economic conditions next year' fell a sharp 6.2%, while moves across all other sub-indices were relatively modest. Despite the drop in confidence amongst consumers, Consumer Staples were amongst the best improvers led by grocery wholesaler Metcash (MTS) which finished 1.4 % higher, whilst Woolies (WOW) ended with a gain of 0.5 %

Ahead in the US tonight , durable goods orders and other second tier data, such as the S&P/Case-Shiller house price index are due. The US data won't generate much of a market reaction. The focus in the European session is will be on any comments from policymakers coming from the ECB's annual forum.

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(Photo: Reuters / )
An office worker is reflected in the window of the Australian Securities Exchange building displaying the ASX50 curve for Wednesday in central Sydney August 7, 2013.
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