Australian Stock Market Report – Midday July 15, 2014

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By Juliana Roadley, CommSec Market Analyst | July 15, 2014 2:12 PM EST

Mid Session Report (12.15pm AEST)

After a solid night on European and US markets, the Australian market opened higher this morning. But not by as much as the SPI futures index had expected. The All Ordinaries Index added 12points at the start of trade rose to an 20 point gain but by lunch the market fell away and was down 11pts 


Pedestrians look at an electronic board showing the stock market indices of various countries 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)

After the better than expected result from Citi Group in the states and the rally in like stocks we expect a strong run from our local banks today, but at the start of trade the banking sector was mixed and by lunch the big 4 banks had fallen into the red. The retail sector was higher while gold stocks held back the materials sector from listing big gains.

In the last 24hours the US$ gold price fell over US$30 an ounce, we did see US$10 an ounce of the fall in our trading zone yesterday but since then the slide continued. The gold price lost ground on reduced economic & geopolitical risks and the news that the Indian Government indicated it will retain its 10% tax on gold & silver imports. 
Since the start of trade today the gold price has stabilised at $1,308/oz. Gold and other precious metals stocks lost ground, Newcrest Mining Limited (NCM) our largest listed gold miner fell back by 1.5%. Small and mid-sized gold miners were the hardest hit, Evolution Mining Limited (EVN) down 5.69% and Medusa Mining Limited (MML) off 6.1%. 

In Company news - 
OZ Minerals (OZL) released its 2Q14 production numbers this morning. 
OZL told the market it had posted "significantly better than expected" copper production of 22,181 tonnes well up on expected 19,000, while gold production was slightly weaker than expected. OZL said its costs were in line with expectations and also lifted is FY guidance to 85-90,000/t (previous 75-80,000/t). The news helped the stock price rise in early trade but has now fallen back along with the rest of the market down 1.5%.

Gold and copper miner PanAust (PNA) share price is holding at $2.15 after also released its quarterly results today. Production or copper hit 16,547/tonnes and gold produced 38,197oz. PNA said its Copper Gold production for FY14 is now expected to hit the upper end of its prior guidance level. 

Whitehaven Coal (WHC) released its FY14 coal results today, coal sales were up nearly 22% to 10.84Million/tonnes above market expectations. But WHC did warn investors that it expects the coal markets to be in oversupply over the next 6months. Despite the warning WHC share price lifted by 4.7% 

SP Austnet (SPN) and the other parties involved in the Kilmore East Class Action today agreed to settle the action.
SPN said this comes without any admission of liability - as was highlighted earlier this year. 
The total settlement sum is $494.7Million and SPN's share of settlement sum is $378.6Million and this will be fully covered by its liability insurers. SPN share price fell just over 1%. 

In Economic News 
Minutes of Reserve Bank of Australia monthly board meeting have been released. It showed that the board judged that, on present indications, the most prudent course was likely to be a period of stability in interest rates.

New car sales rose by 1.7% in June; passenger +1.3%; sports utility +0.2%; other vehicles +4.8%. 

The Aussie dollar moved higher after in the early session on low volume and is now holding at 0.9395. 

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(Photo: / )
Pedestrians look at an electronic board showing the stock market indices of various countries 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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