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Aust stocks almost 2 pc lower at noon

13 Jan 2009 12:25 PM


S&P/ASX200 -64.6 3616.6 Dow Jones -125.21 8473.97

All Ords -61.3 3562.7 S&P 500 -20.09 870.26

SPI contract -85.0 3590.0 Nasdaq -32.80 1538.79

Gold $USoz -27.45 823.55 Nikkei -410.45 8426.35

$A/USD -.0194 0.6746 NZSE-50 -15.571 2752.701

SYDNEY, Jan 13 AAP - The Australian share market was nearly two per cent lower at noon dragged down by a weak resources sector.

At 1200 AEDT, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was down 64.6 points, or 1.75 per cent, at 3,618.7, and the broader All Ordinaries index had lost 61.3 points, or 1.69 per cent, to 3,562.7.

On the Sydney Futures Exchange, the March share price index contract was 85 points lower at 3,590 on a volume of 10,488 contracts.

Burrell Stockbroking associate Peter Wright said low volumes and weaker commodity prices overnight had pulled down local stocks.

"Two hours in and the market hasn't hit the $1 billion mark, volumes are very low," Mr Wright said.

"Resources are pretty poor and the market is very underwhelming again today."

Resource giant Rio Tinto fell $1.50, or 3.63 per cent, to $39.80.

Rival miner and Australia's biggest company, BHP Billiton, fell 84 cents, or 2.72 per cent, to $29.99.

New York's main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in February, slumped $US3.24 to $US37.59 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) overnight.

In the energy sector, Santos shares had lost 24 cents to $13.85, Woodside Petroleum had declined $1.26, or 3.53 per cent, to $34.44, and Oil Search fell 22 cents, or 4.73 per cent, to $4.43.