Giving you all the latest in Stock Market Information as it happens
 

Month: December 2010

Market 1pc down in disappointing year-end



THE stock market finished 2010 on a disappointing note,
dropping almost one per cent today amid broad-based declines.


The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index a closed shortened trading
session down 45.2 points, or 0.94 per cent, at 4,745.2 points,
while the broader All Ordinaries index fell 39.8 points, or
0.81 per cent, to 4,846.9 points.

On the ASX 24, the December share price index futures contract
was 66 points weaker at 4,730 points, with 11,797 contracts
traded.

The ASX200 finished 2010 about 2.5 per cent down on its 2009
closing level.

All the major components of the market finished lower today:
the materials sector slipped 1.06 per cent, financials
backpedalled 1.16 per cent and energy stocks ended down 0.69
per cent, according to Iress data.

Just two companies on the S&P/ASX20 closed in positive
territory – Telstra and Westfield Retail Trust finished up one
cent at $2.79 and $2.57, respectively.



Bell Potter senior adviser Stuart Smith said most fund managers
did their end-of-year book squaring prior to Christmas and had
spent the past week maintaining their positions as the year drew
to a close.

“It has just been a matter of fine tuning on not much volume,”
Mr Smith said.

Offshore leads were mostly negative – equity markets closed
lower, while precious metals and crude oil prices finished
weaker.

But one bright spot was the performance of copper, which
climbed about 1.2 per cent.

IG Markets research analyst Ben Potter said the local market
followed the lead from Wall Street, where US investors booked
in some profits following solid gains in December.

“People have probably locked in a little bit of profit and
called it quits for the year,” Mr Potter said.

Among resources stocks, BHP Billiton eased 60 cents to $45.25,
while Rio Tinto slipped 23 cents to $85.47.
Local banking stocks finished weaker.

ANZ fell 33 cents to $23.35, Commonwealth Bank declined 50
cents to $50.77, National Australia Bank closed 33 cents weaker
at $23.70 and Westpac slipped 40 cents to $22.21.

Insurers also ended in negative territory as devastating floods
continued to cause chaos across large swathes of Queensland.

Suncorp declined nine cents to $8.61, Insurance Australia Group
clowed six cents lower at $3.88 and QBE slumped 24 cents at
$18.15.

Suncorp, which includes insurance brands AAMI, Apia, GIO and
Vero, today reassured investors it has a reinsurance program,
adding that it had received 1450 claims from across Queensland
since Christmas Eve.

Bell Potter’s Mr Smith said he expected the cost of the floods,
estimated to be the worst in 50 years, to be substantial.

“It’s a bottomless pit to try and find out what the damages
claims will be on Suncorp’s insurance side of things,” Mr Smith
said.

“We all know that they spread the risk around, but still this
is going to be greater than 2008.”

The spot price of gold in Sydney finished at $US1,408.80 per
ounce, down $US5.70 from yesterday’s close of $US1414.50.

The most traded stock by volume was Legend Mining, with 106.7
million securities changing hands for $8.9 million.

The company was up eight-tenths of a cent at 7.9 cents.

National turnover was 1.39 billion shares worth $1.77 billion,
with 497 stocks up, 480 down and 391 unchanged.

Posted in Uncategorized

China orders state-owned firms to pay more money

On Friday 31 December 2010, 7:36
EST

China has ordered major state-owned companies to divert more of
their profits to the central government, giving Beijing more
money to spend on priorities such as education, healthcare and
the military.

The finance ministry announced the increase in dividend
payments on Thursday as Beijing seeks to improve social
services and boost domestic consumption in order to reduce the
country’s heavy reliance on exports to drive growth.

It is also seeking to narrow the country’s widening wealth gap.

The central government owns many of the country’s major
companies such as Sinopec, Asia’s largest refiner, and China
Mobile, the world’s biggest mobile operator by subscribers.

These companies have raked in enormous profits in recent years
due to booming economic growth and protection from the
government against their private-sector rivals.

Starting next year, companies mainly in the tobacco, energy and
telecoms industries will have to pay 15 percent of their
after-tax profits to the central government, up from 10 percent
currently, the finance ministry said.

Companies in the next group, mainly in the steel, transport and
construction sectors, will see their dividend payout ratios
increase to 10 percent from five percent, the statement said.

The smallest dividends will be paid by companies mainly in the
weapons and heavy machinery sectors, such as China National
Nuclear Corporation and China Aerospace Science and Technology
Corporation.

They will have to turn over five percent of their profits, it
said.

China Grain Reserves Corporation and China National Cotton
Reserves Corporation will not be required to pay dividends, the
statement said.

The increase has been approved by the State Council, or
cabinet.

China resumed collecting dividends from state-owned companies
in 2007 after suspending payments in the 1990s during massive
restructuring and mass layoffs in the sector.

Beijing collected 157.22 billion yuan (23.8 billion dollars) in
dividends from 2007 to 2009, state media reports said
previously.

Posted in Uncategorized

Dollar ends 2010 near post-float high



THE dollar ended the local session close to its post-float
high, with the strong economy helping it gain 12 per cent
over 2010, the best performer of the major currencies.


At 5pm (AEDT) today, the local unit was trading at 101.64 US
cents, down marginally from 101.65 cents yesterday.
Yesterday it reached 101.98 US cents, the highest since the
currency was floated in December 1983.

Since 7am (AEDT) today, the  dollar traded between was
101.53 cents and 101.81 cents.

Over the course of 2010 thedollar was the best performing major
currency against the US dollar, rising 12 per cent over the
calendar year, followed closely by the yen, according to
Reuters data.

The Australian dollar was at 82.93 yen, down from 82.89
yesterday and was at 76.42 euro cents from 76.54 previously.

Forecast senior currency analyst Lee Wai Tuck said markets were
pretty quiet going into the new year.



“Markets are pretty thin because many of the (trading) centres in
Asia and and in Europe would be closed for New Year’s Eve,” Mr
Lee said from Singapore.

“There is still a lot of interest in buying (the Australian
dollar) at the moment because there is still a lot of demand
for Australian commodities and merger and acquisition interest
for Australian firms.

“There is also the relative stability of the Australian
economy.”

Mr Lee said one of the factors to watch in the new year would
be another Chinese interest rate hike.

On Christmas Day, China’s central bank raised interest rates by
25 basis points for the second time in three months as
authorities ramped up efforts to curb borrowing and tame
inflation.

Mr Lee said there would be some interest in the release of
China’s Performance of Manufacturing Index (PMI), being
released on New Year’s Day.

At the 12.30pm (AEDT) truncated close on the ASX 24, the March
10-year bond futures contract price was 94.435 (implying a
yield of 5.565 per cent), up from yesterday’s close of 94.370
(5.630 per cent).

The March three-year bond futures contract price was 94.700
(5.300 per cent), slightly up from 94.650 (5.350 per cent)
previously.

During the local session, the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA)
released financial aggregates data, which showed total credit
provided to the private sector by financial intermediaries rose
0.3 per cent in November and increased 3.6 per cent in the year
to November.

The 180-day bank bill was steady at 5.25 per cent from
yesterday’s close and the 90-day bank bill rate was also
steady, at 5.02 per cent.

At 4pm (AEDT), the RBA’s trade weighted index was 75.8, down
from 76.0 yesterday.

Posted in Uncategorized

Perth mansion may be sold

On Friday 31 December 2010, 15:29
EST

Prominent Perth businessman Pankaj Oswal may sell his
partially-completed mansion, dubbed the Taj-Mahal-on-the-Swan,
after his fertiliser company was placed in receivership.

The ANZ Banking Group appointed receiver PPB Advisory to take
control of Burrup Fertilisers and Mr Oswal’s 65 per cent
shareholding in parent company Burrup Holdings two weeks ago.

The move was sparked by a continuing stoush between Mr Oswal
and Norway’s Yara International, a 35 per cent shareholder in
Burrup and customer of its still-profitable ammonia plant in
the Pilbara.

ANZ, owed hundreds of millions of dollars on the project, has
claimed there is evidence of financial irregularities in the
business.

Mr Oswal and his wife Radhika have been building an
Indian-style mansion in the well-heeled Perth suburb of
Peppermint Grove overlooking the Swan River.

The $70 million domed structure, due for completion in 2012, is
one of the most expensive properties in Australia and includes
a temple, a gym, an observatory with a revolving roof and
parking for 17 cars.

But Chris Codrington, a spokesman for the Oswals, says the
couple will consider selling the property if they are offered a
good price.

“It’s not officially on the market, there’s been no real estate
agent appointed but they’ve obviously had a couple of nibbles;
one would assume people interested in the block rather than
taking the house.”

Mr Codrington confirmed that the Oswals would consider selling
because of the situation with Burrup Fertilisers.

“They are under pressure both in terms of the media microscope
and obviously the fact that Burrup’s gone into receivership,”
he said.

“It’s been caused by a fight between the shareholders but it
has obviously put them under some pressure.”

Mr Codrington said there was no mortgage on the property and it
was not part of the receivership, which had “come out of the
blue” for the Oswals.

The couple, who have other business interests including an
international chain of sustainable fast-food restaurants, are
holidaying in India with their children.

“I guess at the moment they are just considering their
position, letting the dust settle,” Mr Codrington said.

The Oswals were due back in Perth in the next few weeks, he
said.

Mr Codrington said he understood the building contractor for
the mansion had taken his signs down but the Oswals had said
there was still a building contract in place.

Posted in Uncategorized

Share market closes 2010 lower



THE stock market has finished 2010 on a disappointing note,
dropping almost one per cent amid broad-based declines.


At 2.10pm (AEDT) close, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was
down 45.2 points, or 0.94 per cent, at 4745.2 points, while the
broader All Ordinaries index had fallen 39.8 points, or 0.81
per cent, to 4846.9 points.

On the ASX 24, the December share price index futures contract
was 58 points weaker at 4738 points, with 9878 contracts
traded.

The ASX200 finished 2010 about 2.5 per cent down on its 2009
closing level.

All the major components of the market finished lower – the
materials sector slipped 1.06 per cent, financials backpedalled
1.16 per cent and energy stocks ended down 0.69 per cent,
according to Iress data.

Just two companies on the S&P/ASX20 closed in positive
territory – Telstra and Westfield Retail Trust finished up one
cent at $2.79 and $2.57, respectively.

Bell Potter senior adviser Stuart Smith said most fund managers
did their end-of-year book squaring prior to Christmas and had
spent the past week maintaining their positions as the year
drew to a close.

“It has just been a matter of fine tuning on not much volume,”
Mr Smith said.

IG Markets research analyst Ben Potter said the local market
followed the lead from Wall Street where US investors booked in
some profits following solid gains in December.

“People have probably locked in a little bit of profit and
called it quits for the year,” Mr Potter said.

Offshore leads were mostly negative – Wall Street closed lower,
while precious metals and crude oil prices finished weaker.

One bright spot during the overnight session was the
performance of copper, which climbed about 1.2 per cent.

Among resources stocks BHP Billiton eased 60 cents to $45.25,
while Rio Tinto slipped 23 cents to $85.47.

Local banking stocks finished weaker.

ANZ fell 33 cents to $23.35, Commonwealth Bank was down 50
cents to $50.77, National Australia Bank was 33 cents weaker at
$23.70 and Westpac slipped 40 cents to $22.21.

Insurers were also in negative territory as devastating floods
continued to cause chaos across large swathes of Queensland.

Suncorp declined nine cents to $8.61, Insurance Australia Group
was down six cents at $3.88 and QBE was off 24 cents at $18.15.

Suncorp, which includes insurance brands AAMI, Apia, GIO and
Vero, on Friday reassured investors it has a reinsurance
program, adding that it had received 1,450 claims from across
Queensland since Christmas Eve.

Bell Potter’s Mr Smith said he expected the cost of the floods,
estimated to be the worst in 50 years, to be substantial.

“It’s a bottomless pit to try and find out what the damages
claims will be on Suncorp’s insurance side of things,” Mr Smith
said.

“we all know that they spread the risk around, but still this
is going to be greater than 2008.”

Posted in Uncategorized

IMF Australia responds to ASX Query

IMF Australia ASX:IMF has responded to a query from the Australian Stock Exchange making a formal announcement ‘Trading Policy’ published on Friday 31 December 2010. IMF Australia has issued similar announcements one time before, most recently about 0 minutes ago on Wednesday 17 June 2009. The announcement ‘Trading Policy’ was issued to the ASX on Friday 31 December 2010. Notice Type: ASX Query Response

Posted in Uncategorized

Rubik Financial Company Reports – Half Yearly

ASX Announcement 31 December 2010 Share Trading Policy Listing Rules 12.9 and 12.12. The announcement ‘Share Trading Policy’ was issued to the ASX on Friday 31 December 2010. Notice Type: Company Reports Half Yearly

Posted in Uncategorized

Aquila Resources New issue announcement

Aquila Resources ASX:AQA has announced details of a Buy Back, Dividend or New Issue. The notice entitled ‘Appendix 3B’ was published on Friday 31 December 2010. Aquila Resources has issued similar announcements 22 times before, most recently about 0 minutes ago on Tuesday 30 November 2010. Notice Type: Share Buyback, Special Dividend, Issue, or Capital Return

Posted in Uncategorized

Carbon Conscious responds to ASX Query

Carbon Conscious ASX:CCF has responded to a query from the Australian Stock Exchange making a formal announcement ‘Share Trading Policy’ published on Friday 31 December 2010. Carbon Conscious has issued similar announcements three times before, most recently about 0 minutes ago on Thursday 13 May 2010. The announcement ‘Share Trading Policy’ was issued to the ASX on Friday 31 December 2010. Notice Type: ASX Query Response

Posted in Uncategorized

World Reach responds to ASX Query

World Reach ASX:WRR has responded to a query from the Australian Stock Exchange making a formal announcement ‘Securities Trading Policy’ published on Friday 31 December 2010. World Reach has issued similar announcements one time before, most recently about 0 minutes ago on Thursday 06 August 2009. The announcement ‘Securities Trading Policy’ was issued to the ASX on Friday 31 December 2010. Notice Type: ASX Query Response

Posted in Uncategorized