Thursday, March 22, 2012

Australian stock market opens down march 23 2012

Australian stock market opens down march 23 2012, S&P/ASX200 index was down march 23 2012, National Australia Bank shares prices dropped ; The Australian market has opened weaker with investors abandoning risk averse mining stocks. The local opening follows falls on international markets overnight after unexpectedly weak euro zone economic data and disappointing Chinese figures.

At 1027 AEDT on Friday, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was down 34.4 points, or 0.8 per cent, at 4,239.3, while the broader All Ordinaries index was 34.2 points, or 0.78 per cent, weaker at 4,330.7.

The June share price index futures contract was down 42 points at 4,253 with 9,838 contracts traded.

US and European stock markets fell on news that euro zone private sector activity fell more sharply than expected in March, while in China manufacturing activity fell to a four-month low.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended the day down 78.48 points (0.60 per cent) to reach 13,046.14.

A sell-off across the "risk space" was expected, with the world's biggest miner approaching three-month lows, said IG Markets market strategist Stan Shamu.

BHP Billiton stocks were 62 cents, or 1.78 per cent, weaker at $34.18, while Rio Tinto stocks were faring worse, down $1.38, or 2.13 per cent, at $63.29.

"A lot of buyers will be coming in to BHP at these levels," Mr Shamu told AAP.

"Obviously, the current issue is growth concerns from China and Europe.

"Without growth, risk assets, generally, struggle so we saw commodities come off quite a bit overnight."

In equities news, rail operator QR National's stocks have plunged after it cut its forecasts for full year earnings due to ongoing industrial action, weaker demand for coal transport and wet weather.

It had given up 11 cents, or three per cent, to $3.78 by 1038 AEDT.

The big banks opened with smaller losses, with Westpac retreating by three cents, or 0.14 per cent, to $21.26.

National Australia Bank had dropped six cents to $24.33, Commonwealth was 18 cents worse at $48.84 and ANZ three cents weaker at $22.62. Gold major Newcrest Mining had retreated 23 cents, or 0.78 per cent, to $29.12.

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