Australian Stock Market Report –Afternoon July 22, 2014

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By Juiana Roadley, CommSec Market Analyst | July 22, 2014 6:17 PM EST

Traders are pictured at their desks in front of the DAX board at the Frankfurt stock exchange July 21, 2014. REUTERS/Remote/Stringer (GERMANY - Tags: BUSINESS)
Traders are pictured at their desks in front of the DAX board at the Frankfurt stock exchange July 21, 2014. REUTERS/Remote/Stringer (GERMANY - Tags: BUSINESS)

Afternoon report (4.45pm EAST) 

It was another very quiet day on the Aussie market with total market turnover only at 2Billion shares well down own the daily average. Investors nervous about entering the market at present and larger investors sitting the day out from trading ahead of tomorrow´s June quarter inflation numbers (CPI).

By the end of trade The All Ordinaries Index closed 5 points higher at 5,534 points. 

Overnight geopolitical concerns, the new ignition of fighting in the Ukraine and heightened tensions in Gaza, sent the Dow Jones down nearly 50 points. 

Today the mining sector advanced as the day went on with BHP Billiton Limited (BHP) and Rio Tinto Limited (RIO) both ending up by 0.6% and Western Areas (WSA) up over 3.8% after the nickel miner reports better than expected output of nickel over the last half. WSA said nickel output had hit 28,686 tones and also told the market its cash cost was lower than expected at $2.50 a pound which has improved its profit. 

The financial sector was weaker throughout the day and at the close 3 of the big 4 banks closed in the red with a Westpac Banking Corporation (WBC) slightly higher up 0.12% to $33.94. QBE Insurance Group Limited (QBE) was down for the day off 1.27%. Information technology stocks closed mixed and the utility sector ended stronger. 

During the day the gains in the energy sector were wiped away even with the NYMEX light sweet crude price lifting by US$0.49 in Asian trade to US$105.08 a barrel.

Oil Search (OSH) today reported its quarterly production and sales results for the June quarter 2014. OSH said it produced 3.69million metric barrels of oil equivalent (mmboe) for 2Q14 was up 120% over the last quarter, largely due to the early commencement of PNG Liquid natural gas program, which contributed 1.87mmboe. OSH share price lifted ended up 0.4% and Santos Limited was also higher up 0.6% while Woodside Petroleum Limited (WPL) lost ground. 

Macquarie Atlas Roads Group (MQA) closed up 0.5% after the company released its June quarterly results. The weighted average toll revenue was up 4.2% (Y/Y) on higher traffic levels & revised toll schedules. After a poor result in the March quarter from its part share in the Chicago Skyway (MQA owns a 22.5% interest) in Illinois, United States the last quarter revenue increased as the weather improved and traffic usage returned to normal. Average Workday Trips increased by 2% and toll revenue on the road lifted by 1.8% in the June quarter. 

In Economic News
The ANZ-Roy Morgan Consumer Confidence Rating rose by 4.4% to a 13-week high of 113.5 in the week to July 20. Since 1973, the average confidence reading in July has been 106.2.
Also today the The Reserve Bank Governor, Glenn Stevens, delivered a speech entitled "Challenges for Economic Policy". At the outset, the Governor noted: "I wish to be clear at the outset that my remarks today are about global issues, and contain no particular message specific to Australia."

The Australian dollar held back again today in low trade ahead, now at 0.9389 US dollars. 

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Traders are pictured at their desks in front of the DAX board at the Frankfurt stock exchange July 21, 2014. REUTERS/Remote/Stringer (GERMANY - Tags: BUSINESS)
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