Monday, March 19, 2012

Australian stock market closed march 19 2012

Australian stock market closed march 19 2012 : The Australian sharemarket managed to rise slightly today following a 1.5 pct rise in local shares last week. The All Ordinaries Index (XAO) edged higher by 0.4 pct or 16.5 pts to 4381.2. Almost all sectors ended in the black, with some weakness from the consumer staples and telcos holding the market back.

Supermarket chain, Woolworths (WOW) fell sharply by 2.49 pct or 64 cents to $25.03 following it going ex-dividend today. It will be paying out a 59 cent a share dividend on 27 April this year. This means that investors purchasing WOW shares today onwards will not be eligible to receive its next dividend payment.

Department store owner, David Jones (DJS) decided to enter a trading halt today pending the release on an announcement. This seems to be due to media speculation that the business expects a 50 pct fall in credit card earnings (which would account for around 20 pct of its business). Speculation aside, DJS will be delivering its results this Wednesday. It has performed well on the market so far this year, and is up around 15 pct in 2012.

Commodity prices were mostly lower on Friday night, but it was not enough to hold our miners back today. BHP Billliton (BHP) rose 1.09 pct or 38 cents to $35.35 while the smaller Rio Tinto (RIO) gained 1.12 pct or 73 cents to $65.85.

QBE Insurance (QBE) was one of the day's best after rising 3.42 pct or 45 cents to $13.59. Its shares have been making a comeback this month and have improved by 16.6 pct in March. Keep in mind that QBE shares plummeted following a number of profit downgrades in January this year.

Three of the four major banks ended higher today, with National Australia Bank (NAB) the exception, down 0.12 pct or 3 cents to $24.15.Westpac (WBC) was the best, up 0.43 pct or 9 cents to $21.22, while ANZ Banking Group (ANZ) and Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) edged higher modestly.

On the economic front today, the latest Australian Institute of Petroleum (AIP) report was issued today and has shown that the national average price of petrol rose by 1.3 cents to 147.1 cents a litre last week.

Commsec Economist, Savanth Sebastian said that "Petrol prices have continued their recent upward trajectory and unfortunately for motorists there are no signs that conditions are likely to get any better over the next couple of weeks. The potential threats to oil supplies in the Middle East and improving economic conditions in the US have been the key drivers behind the surge in global oil prices. And over the past five weeks, the Singapore unleaded fuel price has surged by almost US$12 a barrel and is holding at the highest levels in 3½ years"

Due to higher wholesale prices, a 2 to 3 cent a litre rise is expected over the next fortnight. Mr Sebastian said that "The one advantage that Aussie motorists have is the strength of the Australian dollar, but even the stronger domestic currency can only do so much, and as such most of the increase in the global oil price will filter through to domestic pump prices over the coming fortnight."

It will be a very quiet week for economic data however the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) will have its hands full over the coming days. Tomorrow the central bank will issue its latest minutes from the March interest rate meeting (it kept rates on hold for the second straight month). Tonight, the bank's Governor, Glenn Stevens will be speaking in Hong Kong at the Credit Suisse 15th Asian Investment Conference. 'Economic Conditions and Prospects' is the topic of his speech, leaving plenty of room for him to bring up a vast array of topics if he so chooses. RBA Assistant Governors will also be speaking tomorrow and on Thursday.

No major economic data was issued in the region today, however Thursday will be busiest day of economic releases in Asia-Pacific. Japanese markets will be closed tomorrow due to a public holiday in Japan.

On Thursday, Japan will issue its latest trade balance which is likely to be another trade deficit (trade has been weak following last year's disasters).

New Zealand's latest growth (GDP) reading will also be issued on Thursday and is expected to report a slight expansion in its economy.

China's latest manufacturing update will be delivered by HSBC on Thursday also and has the potential to be market moving.

In Europe tonight, the Greek credit default swap auction will be held.

The British central bank will be releasing its latest MPC (Monetary Policy Committee) minutes from its monthly meeting on interest rates on Wednesday night in addition to its latest Annual Budget Release at 11.30pm on that same night.

The European Central Bank's (ECB) President will be speaking on Thursday night while the U.K's latest retail sales result will be out that evening also.

The property market takes centre stage this week in the U.S, with a number of reports to look forward to over the coming days. Tonight, the NAHB Housing Market Index will be released with a reading of 30 expected by the market. This is a survey of close to 1000 home builders which asks respondents to rate the relative level of current future sing-family homes sales. Any reading below 50.0 indicates a negative outlook for property sales.

Volume of shares traded came in at 2.18 billion today, worth $4.93 billion. 560 shares were up, 485 were weaker and 381 ended unchanged.

At 4.30pm AEDT on the Sydney Futures Exchange, the ASX24 futures contract is up 0.09 pct or 4 pts to 4317.

Due to daylight savings, most major European markets are now trading between 7pm (AEDT) and 3.30am (AEDT). Futures in Europe are pointing to a stronger start to trade tonight.

Dow Futures are currently higher; indicating that U.S stocks could open in the black tonight. Due to daylight savings taking place in the second week of March in North America, U.S markets will now be trading between 12.30am (AEDT) and 7am (AEDT).

Turning to currencies, the Australian dollar (AUD) buys US106.1 cents, which is a little lower than this time last week. The AUD is currently trading at £66.9 pence and €80.6 cents.

For the latest updates on the stock market, visit Stock Market Today
For the latest updates PRESS CTR + D or visit Stock Market news Today

Related Post:

No comments:

Post a Comment