australian stocks suffer as the greek stalemate continues 1614912015

Investor selling pushes all sectors into negative territory

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By :  ,  Financial Analyst

Australian stocks fell in conjunction with global markets as the talks between Greece and its creditors hit a roadblock and there appeared little signs of a resolution of the stalemate. Losses were broad-based across the ASX and resulted in every sector ending in the red.

Indices and sectors

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 fell 54.1 points, or 1.0 per cent, and closed at 5,632.7, while the broader All Ordinaries index was down 52.8 points, or 0.9 per cent, at 5,619.9.

The biggest losing sectors were information technology (-2.18 per cent), industrials (-1.65 per cent), consumer discretionary (-1.58 per cent), energy (-1.55 per cent) and real estate investment trusts (-1.39 per cent). There were no gaining sectors.


In mining, BHP Billiton Limited (ASX:BHP) fell 0.14 per cent to AU$28.51, Rio Tinto Limited (ASX:RIO) was down 0.07 per cent to AU$55.63 and Fortescue Metals Group Limited (ASX:FMG) fell 3.64 per cent to AU$2.12. BHP Billiton Limited said it will cut 140 jobs, mostly from its Adelaide office, related to the now shelved expansion at the company’s Olympic Dam mine, according to the ABC.

Energy stocks too were sold off. Woodside Petroleum Limited (ASX:WPL) fell 0.97 per cent to AU$35.68, Origin Energy Ltd (ASX:ORG) declined 2.57 per cent to AU$12.52, Oil Search Limited (ASX:OSH) was down 0.67 per cent to AU$7.45 and Santos Ltd (ASX:STO) shed 2.03 per cent to AU$8.22.

With the exception of Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA), which gained 0.11 per cent to AU$87.29, the other major banks lost ground. Westpac Banking Corp (ASX:WBC) fell 1.07 per cent to AU$33.31, Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ASX:ANZ) fell 0.59 per cent to AU$33.44 and National Australia Bank Ltd. (ASX:NAB) dipped 0.20 per cent to AU$34.45.

In retail stocks, Wesfarmers Ltd (ASX:WES), the owner of supermarket chain Coles, fell 1.33 per cent to AU$39.91, Woolworths Limited (ASX:WOW) was down 1.20 per cent to AU$26.38, Caltex Australia Limited (ASX:CTX) gave up 1.74 per cent to AU$33.26 and Myer Holdings Ltd (ASX:MYR) remained unchanged at AU$1.34.

Economic news, currency and market outlook

National Australia Bank Ltd. (ASX:NAB) released its Consumer Anxiety Index which rose 1.7 points to 63.5 points in the June quarter, as cost of living pressures appeared to offset the feel-good sentiments from the federal budget. "Cost of living pressures are now causing the greatest stress for Australian consumers, but anxiety has increased most in relation to job security where stress levels are at their highest since early 2013," said NAB chief economist Alan Oster.

A survey by the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed that job vacancies reached the highest levels in 2 ½ years, according to Yahoo News. The survey said there were 155,800 vacancies in May, up 2.1 per cent from February.

Stocks were modestly down on Wall Street Thursday, excepting healthcare stocks which gained on news of a US Supreme Court decision upholding tax subsidies relating to health care reform law. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 75.71 points, or 0.42 percent, to 17,890.36, the S&P 500 lost 6.27 points, or 0.3 percent, to 2,102.31 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 10.22 points, or 0.2 percent, to 5,112.19.

The Australian dollar is trading marginally higher against the US dollar as talks between Greece and its creditors continued in stalemate mode, according to the Business Spectator. At 07:00 this morning (AEST) the local currency was trading at 77.39 US cents, up from 77.30 US cents on Thursday.

The Australian stock market is likely to open lower today given that at 07:05 am (AEST) this morning the September ASX SPI200 Index (AP) Futures was down 6 points at 5,556, according to Business Spectator.

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