Greek saga continues to weigh on market
City Index February 16, 2012 5:16 PM
<p>Asian stocks are set to open lower after stocks in the US fell overnight. The Dow Jones Industrial average was 0.8% lower whilst the S&P500 […]</p>
Asian stocks are set to open lower after stocks in the US fell overnight. The Dow Jones Industrial average was 0.8% lower whilst the S&P500 shed 0.5%, unable to rise above recent resistance levels.
Stocks were dragged lower on concerns around Greece with a possible delay on the new round of funding being implemented in time for next month’s repay repayment deadline. Apple shares were also lower, after posting earlier gains, on concerns the group has pulled some of its products from the Chinese market, although there was no announcement from the company on this matter.
In currencies, the Australian dollar fell back below 1.07 against the US dollar but the Euro’s falls were larger, last trading at 1.3055 against the US dollar. The Australian dollar continues to test new highs against the Euro, last at 0.8188. Gold was higher at US$1727/oz while copper fell again, back below US$3.80/lb.
In Australian corporate news, Westpac followed the Commonwealth Bank’s result yesterday with its first quarter trading update for new financial year. The net cash number of $1.5bn is slightly below market expectations but is impacted by some one-off factors so the market can live with the overall number being a touch soft.
Market consensus numbers will most likely be revised lower for the full year until Westpac can show the first quarter woes were mostly one off and momentum can start to improve in the second and third quarters.
Elsewhere, wealth manager AMP reported underlying earnings of $909m. The final dividend of 14 cent per share is also in line with market expectations, though might disappoint slightly given the underlying earnings number is above expectations.
Agricultural play Graincorp provided net profit after tax guidance of $165-185m for this financial year. The market consensus numbers are for full year earnings of $165m so there is definitely upside to be revised in market estimates now. The business is proving to be a very attractive listed exposure, in the agricultural space, having delivered on promises and now generating very attractive earnings.
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