EVENING REPORT (5pm AEDT)
The Australian share market has ended the trading week in the red, closing lower by 0.4 per cent today as weakness in financial stocks weighed on sentiment. The Australian dollar also took a beating, following comments from an external Reserve Bank board member.
The All Ordinaries Index (XAO) closed down 21.2 points to 5254.3 and was down 1.2 per cent on the week.
The financial sector closed down 0.7 per cent following a switch out of the banks, while mining stocks were mixed. Rio Tinto (RIO) rallied despite weaker metals trade in London and Newcrest Mining (NCM) came back after recent a sell-off. The gold price was slightly weaker in Asian trade.
In other company news, sleep disorder equipment maker Resmed (RMD) fell almost 5 per cent to $5 after announcing disappointing quarterly revenue at its American operations. Total income however rose by 11 per cent to US$86.6 million in the three months to December last year.
Discount retailer The Reject Shop (TRS) dropped almost 32 per cent today to $11.50 after reporting disappointing Christmas sales figures and pointing to a drop in full year profit.
The Aussie dollar had a volatile session, ending the day's trade near US87c after Heather Ridout, an external board member of the RBA, told the Wall Street Journal she believes a currency near US80c would be fairer value for our economy.
On the market overall, 1.9 billion shares changed hands, worth $4.3 billion. 423 shares were higher, 490 were lower and 359 were unchanged.
At 4.30pm AEDT the SFE 200 Futures Index was at 5196, down 32 points.
The Aussie dollar was also buying £0.5233 and €63.55c.
No major economic data is released in the US tonight. The Dow Futures is down 34pts or 0.2 per cent 16,117.
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