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Aust stocks lower at noon after losses in banks =3D3

24 Nov 2008 12:45 PM


S&PASX200 -20.1 3396.4 Dow Jones +494.13 8046.42

All Ords -18.2 3368.7 S&P 500 +47.59 800.03

SPI contract -24.0 3408.0 Nasdaq +68.23 1384.35

GoldUSoz +48.60 798.05 Nikkei 0 7910.79

$AUSD +.0042 0.6256 NZSE-50 +21.357 2599.458

SYDNEY, Nov 24 AAP - The Australian share market was half a per cent lower at noon, with losses in the financial sector despite a strong lead from Wall Street on Friday.

At 1200 AEDT, the benchmark S&PASX200 index was down 20.1 points, or 0.59 per cent, at 3396.4 while the broader All Ordinaries shed 18.2 points, or 0.54 per cent, to 3368.7.

On the Sydney Futures Exchange, the December share price index futures contract was down 24 points at 3408 points on volume of 17,971 contracts.

ABN Amro Morgans Ipswich manager Tony Russell said the weaker market had been anticipated.

"The banks are following on from last week with concerns about debts and capital raising," Mr Russell said.

In the financial sector, Commonwealth Bank dropped1.00 to $29.95, National Australia Bank shed 34 cents to18.66, ANZ was down 26 cents to $13.10 while Westpac was down 37 cents, or 2.26 per cent, to15.98.

Suncorp-Metway shares fell 24 cents, or 3.47 per cent, to6.67 despite raising its full-year bank profit forecast due to stronger revenue from higherprices and flat expenses.

Resources giant BHP Billiton and its rival, Rio Tinto, were stronger, however.

BHP was up 59 cents, or 2.69 per cent, at22.49 and Rio rose 58 cents to $60.59.

Stock Move Price

AMP +0.030 5.320

ANZ Bank -0.300 13.060

BHPBilton +0.570 22.470

CBA -1.050 29.900

NAB -0.360 18.640

NewsCorp +0.230 10.200

Polartech -0.010 .060

Rio Tinto +0.820 60.830

TelstraCp +0.030 4.010

WestpacBk -0.380 15.970

Woolwrths -0.670 24.880

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In news this Monday, shares in investment bank Babcock & Brown Ltd (B&B)were suspended from trading after it failed to resolve a dispute with a bank over a material deposit since its shares were placed in a trading halt last Thursday.

B&B shares are at 25 cents.

B&B rival, Macquarie Group, dropped one cent to27.05.

Agribusiness Ruralco Holdings expects commodity prices to stabilise at stronger levels this year after delivering a 43 per cent increase in profit in fiscal 2008. Its shares were in a trading halt pending an announcement by the company, last trading at3.24.

Major energy stocks mostly were stronger.

At 1218 AEDT, Australia's biggest oil and gas producer, Woodside Petroleum,had added 22 cents to29.22, Santos had increased 49 cents, or 3.9 per cent, to13.04 while Oil Search was down one cent to $4.32.

At 1219 AEDT, spot gold in Sydney was trading atUS796.35 an ounce, up $US46.90 on Friday's local close ofUS749.45.

Gold miners also made gains, with Newcrest Mining up2.72, or 12.67 per cent, to24.18, Newmont Mining lifting 69 cents, or 18.16 per cent, to $4.49, and Lihir Gold rising 29 cents, or 16.11 per cent, at2.09.

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At 1229 AEDT, shares in Telstra were three cents higher at4.01 while its rival Singapore Telecommunications also had gained three cents to2.55.

Major retail stocks mostly were weaker.

Woolworths was down 85 cents, or 3.33 per cent, at24.70, David Jones stocks were steady at2.48 and Coles owner Wesfarmers decreased 33 cents, or 1.74 per cent, to18.68.

In media, Fairfax Media fell nine cents, or 6.43 per cent, to1.31, but News Corp picked up 26 cents or 2.61 per cent to10.23 and its non-voting scrip rose 35 cents or 3.69 per cent to9.83.

Seven was five cents higher at5.15 but Ten fell three cents to $1.02.

At 1234 AEDT, the most traded stock was Oz Minerals with 28.65 million units traded for a total of17.17 million.

Shares in the miner were down six cents, or 10.08 per cent, to 53.5 cents.

Market turnover was 576.73 million shares, valued at1.57 billion, with 453 stocks up, 332 down and 217 unchanged.