Australian Stock Market Report –Afternoon August 6, 2014

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By Steven Daghlian, CommSec Market Analyst | August 7, 2014 9:53 AM EST

Sellers maintain pressure on ASX200

 Sellers continued to apply pressure to the ASX 200 over the course of the afternoon on Wednesday. So far this week the index has shed just over 0.8 per cent having lost half a per cent last week.

Reuters
A broker monitors the market from his booth during a trading session at Karachi Stock Exchange

 Resource stocks saw mixed fortunes over the session. Shares in energy producers have been under pressure in the last day with plentiful global supplies of crude oil putting downward pressure on prices. Woodside Petroleum (WPL) shares fell more than 0.7 percent with continuing uncertainty around the groups intentions in the wake of voting down the proposed $2.68 billion deal to buy back Woodside shares owned by Royal Dutch Shell. Elsewhere in the resource space junior iron ore miner BC Iron (BCI) predicted that price of iron ore will rise above $US100 per tonne over the next six months in the face of strong demand. At the same time CEO Morgan Ball highlighted the potential to expand operations in the Pilbara, although the company was presently focused on maintaining production of six million tonnes per annum at its Nullagine joint venture project over the next six years. BCI shares eased by half a per cent.

 Mining services group Ausdrill (ASL) fell more than 12 per cent early in the session. The group said that having conducted a review, a pre-tax impairment expense of up to $90 million to its full year profit will be taken. Ausdrill said "A review of the company's longer-term forecast on the back of the recent fall in the iron ore price and continued challenging market conditions have resulted in a view being taken that the recovery of the Australian mining services sector will be slower than Ausdrill had previously anticipated". Additionally it was noted that the groups tax exemption status in Mali had expired which would result in a tax expense of approximately $2.7m for the full year. ASL shares ended with a loss of 9 per cent

 Kathmandu (KMD) today announced a new role - General Manager of Retail Stores, reporting directly to the CEO. Alison Evans has worked at; Marks and Spencer in the UK in roles including the Head of Selling for their Homeware division; Homebase (a large DIY retailer); and as UK and Ireland Retail General Manager with Argos (the UK's number 1 catalogue retailer). Ms Evans recently worked as General Manager Stores for Target Australia. KMD shares have fallen by almost 5% this year compared to the ASX 200 which has risen by 2.8%.

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(Photo: Reuters / )
A broker monitors the market from his booth during a trading session at Karachi Stock Exchange
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