Australian Stock Market Report –Afternoon July 21, 2014

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By Juliana Roadley, CommSec Market Analyst | July 21, 2014 7:19 PM EST

PM REPORT (4.30pm) 

The Australia stock market finished the day higher as the ASX 200 added 8 points, while the broader All Ordinaries index was up 9.2 points. The volume was very light today and the public holiday in Japan also impacted international trading volumes. 


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)

The materials sector was held back today as many investors await some of the big miners releasing quarterly trading updates later this week - including BHP Billiton Limited (BHP) Newcrest Mining Limited (NCM) and mid weight iron ore producer atlas iron (AGO) the material sector finished down 0.27% today. 

The retail sector was very active again today with Country Road Limited (CTY) releasing its target statement to the ASX and investors showing CTY board recommended the $17.00 (cash) a share off from South African retailer Woolworths Limited. The offer comes to a total of $213Million for the rest of the CTY Woolworths Limited does not already own. CTY share price rose 1.2% to day to $16.75. David jones (DJS) shares have been suspended from the market, as of last Friday (last traded at $3.99) following the court approval of $2.2Billion takeover offer by South African retailer Woolworths Limited. DJS is expected to be completely removed from the Aussie market on 1 August. 

Still no confirmation to the rumour that Gina Rinehart, is considering full takeover bid for the remaining shares of Fairfax Media (FXJ) that she does not already own. FXJ shares lifted by 1.65% at the end of the session while Ten Network Holdings Limited (TEN) closed up 1.8%. 

Property firm Australand Property Group (ALZ) today released its half year results till the end of June 2014. ALZ reported an operating profit after tax of $80.8Million, up 30% (Y/Y), with a statutory result was a net profit after tax (NPAT) of $131.5 million up by nearly 49%. ALZ share price fell 0.22% of $0.01 over the day. 

Natural gas infrastructure firm, APA Group (APA) today announced its Joint venture plans to build a new gas transmission pipeline that will supply in the eastern Goldfields region of Western Australia. APA share prices lifted by 0.99% today to $7.15. 

The US$ gold price rose in Asian trade, adding US$3 an ounce to US$1,314 an ounce while the NYMEX oil in electronic trading fell back a little to US$102.89 a barrel off $0.24. 
In the energy sector, Caltex released its June 2014 refinery margin update report the report was slightly higher than expected, CRM Sales from production lifted from 862Million litres in May 2014 to 922 Million in June. CTX sales from production increase compared to a year ago helping the share price rise by 4% over the session. 

In economic news - 
Petrol prices rose in the last week. According to the Australian Institute of Petroleum, the national average Australian price of petrol rose by $0.036 per litre to $1.573 a litre in the week to July 20. But the wholesale price has continued to fall and now stands at a 21-day low. The low point for petrol prices in southern & eastern capital cities will be around a week's time.

The Australian dollar has seen little action in early trade ahead of Chinese manufacturing data out later this week and our own CPI inflation numbers for the June quarter due out on Wednesday, the AUD/ USD level now at 0.9393. 

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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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