Australian Stock Market Report – Afternoon July 8, 2014

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By Tom Piotrowski, CommSec Market Analyst | July 8, 2014 5:42 PM EST

A man is reflected on an electronic board showing market indices of the (top-bottom) NASDAQ, Hong Kong Hang Seng Index, SSE Composite Index, and Korea Composite Stock Price Index outside a brokerage in Tokyo June 25, 2014. Asian shares were on the back foot early on Wednesday, taking their cue from Wall Street as the deepening crisis in Iraq and a report that the U.S. could be loosening restrictions on crude exports triggered a rally in oil prices. REUTERS/Yuya Shino (JAPAN - Tags: BUSINESS)
A man is reflected on an electronic board showing market indices of the (top-bottom) NASDAQ, Hong Kong Hang Seng Index, SSE Composite Index, and Korea Composite Stock Price Index outside a brokerage in Tokyo June 25, 2014. Asian shares were on the back foot early on Wednesday, taking their cue from Wall Street as the deepening crisis in Iraq and a report that the U.S. could be loosening restrictions on crude exports triggered a rally in oil prices. REUTERS/Yuya Shino (JAPAN - Tags: BUSINESS)

Afternoon Report
(17:00 AEST)

The ASX 200 traded in a range of 20 points over the course of Tuesday. In the first hour of trade the ASX 200 was at its best and worst levels when it was up by 1p and down by 19 points. There after the index battled to move higher;on several occasions it tried to surmount the 5515 level where it failed on the 3rd occasion, before ending at with a loss of 8 points at 5510.

News of either the corporate or economic variety was in short supply once again on Tuesday. There was a fillip for the market in the wake of a better than expected reading for business sentiment in the monthly survey as reported by the NAB. The bank said that "Business confidence is showing no ill effects from the government's 'tough budget', rather improving in line with better business conditions (reflecting sales and profits) - albeit conditions remain sub trend. Most industries showed better outcomes with the heavy lifting done by a surge in construction. Employment and capacity utilisation, however, weakened significantly. The 'bellwether' sectors of wholesale, transport are giving mixed signals, while forward orders suggest little fundamental change in activity´´. The report had the impact of helping the ASX 200 consolidate and grind higher over the course of the Afternoon. In the broader picture, the survey is suggestive of the RBA sticking to the line that domestic interest rate settings are appropriate for the time being.

The Reject Shop (TRS) announced the appointment of Ross Sudano as its new CEO following the departure of Chris Bryce last month. Sudano last held the role of CEO at Little World Beverages - overseeing its sale to the international brewer, Lion and has also held positions at Coles and BP Australia during his 20 year retail career. The 2014 financial year was a trying one for The Reject Shop, with results for the first half well below expectations after disappointing sales over the peak weeks leading into Christmas. Shares in The Reject Shop have fallen over 45 per cent in the past 12 months despite the retailer reporting last month that it was on course to deliver net profit after tax of between $17m to $18m for the financial year ended June 30. TRS shares ended at $9.81 a gain of 23 cents or 2.4 per cent.

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A man is reflected on an electronic board showing market indices of the (top-bottom) NASDAQ, Hong Kong Hang Seng Index, SSE Composite Index, and Korea Composite Stock Price Index outside a brokerage in Tokyo June 25, 2014. Asian shares were on the back foot early on Wednesday, taking their cue from Wall Street as the deepening crisis in Iraq and a report that the U.S. could be loosening restrictions on crude exports triggered a rally in oil prices. REUTERS/Yuya Shino (JAPAN - Tags: BUSINESS)
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