MID-SESSION REPORT (12pm AEDT)
The Australian share market is giving back yesterday's gains following triple digit losses on Wall Street overnight.
The US Central Bank decided to taper its bond buying program by another US$10 billion a month from February, committing to US$65 billion worth of asset purchases. It was outgoing Chairman Ben Bernanke's final meeting, before Janet Yellen takes over the top job. The tapering was widely expected yet investors still decided to sell out, also unnerved by worries about emerging economies and disappointing earnings results.
After the bell on Wall Street Facebook released fourth quarter earnings which beat expectations, sending its share up by as much as 11 per cent in after-hours trade.
On our market, it's a sea of red with every sector lower. Miners are down around 0.9 per cent and the energy sector is off 0.8 per cent.
In company news, Treasury Wine Estates (TWE) has lowered its earnings guidance, citing lower sales in Australia, the US and China. TWE shares are down 17.4 per cent in early trade to $3.76.
In economic news, new home sales fell 0.4 per cent in December but sales rose 14.4 per cent in 2013 on a year earlier. CommSec tips average home prices should rise by around five per cent yesterday.
On the market overall, a total of 706 million shares have changed hands, with a value of $1.8 billion. 249 are up, 516 are down and 290 are unchanged.
The Australian dollar is buying US87.4c in early trade, £0.5278 and €63.99c.
The Reserve Bank of New Zealand today elected to leave its official cash rate on hold at 2.5 per cent, sending the Kiwi down against the greenback. The NZX 50 Gross Index is down 0.8 per cent in the early session.
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