Monday, May 13, 2013

Australian market up despite drag from mining stocks

THE sharemarket has opened slightly higher despite weakness among major resources stocks.

At 10.11am AEST the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 11.2 points, or 0.21 per cent, at 5221.5, while the broader All Ordinaries index was up 10.0 points, or 0.19 per cent, at 5204.8.

IG market analyst Stan Shamu said weaker commodities prices had weighed on mining stocks, especially gold, while the major banks were mixed.

“The main thing today is how the resources stocks fare, particularly on the back of slightly weaker commodities prices,'' Mr Shamus said.

It comes after a Wall Street closed relatively flat and ahead of the release of the Australian federal budget tonight.

The big mining companies all opened lower.

At 10.20am AEST BHP Billiton fell 10 cents to $34.44, Rio Tinto declined 38 cents to $57.21 and Fortescue lost three cents to $3.80.

Among the financial stocks, the big four banks were mixed.

Westpac fell 12 cents to $31.70, ANZ was three cents higher at $30.12, National Australia Bank dropped 17 cents to $33.01 and Commonwealth Bank gained 28 cents to $71.42.

In economic news, the Australia Bureau of Statistics will release lending finance figures for March at 11.30am AEST and the federal budget will be released at 7.30am AEST.

US stocks traded largely flat under the shadow of poor Chinese economic data and a slight gain in US monthly retail sales.

The S&P 500 managed to set a new closing record, but only on the back of an almost negligible 0.07 point gain from the previous mark on Friday, ending at 1633.77.

The narrower blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 26.81 points (0.18 per cent) to 15,091.68, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index added 2.21 (0.06 per cent) at 3438.79.


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