News National Banks, miners weigh on market

Banks, miners weigh on market

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The local share market fell significantly on Thursday, but provided a silver lining for Qantas management under fire over the airline’s massive loss.

How Qantas pilots would fix their airline

The All Ordinaries index dropped 28 points or 0.5 per cent to close at 5,621, while the ASX 200 index shed 27 points to 5,624.

Qantas shares surged closing 7 per cent higher, despite the airline’s $2.8 billion loss – one of the biggest in Australian corporate history.

Its stocks gained nine cents to $1.39 per share, with analysts pointing to the airline’s outlook and its decision to hive off its loss-making international arm for the gain.

Rival Virgin Australia also prospered today, with its shares closing up 1.25 per cent ahead of the release of its results tomorrow.

The bright spots were otherwise few and far between, with the mining sector among those dragging the market lower.

Rio Tinto lost 1.7 per cent and BHP Billiton lost 1.2 per cent as the benchmark iron ore price hit its lowest level in nearly two years.

That was not a drag for gold miner Newcrest, which gained 0.9 per cent.

The finance sector’s falls were modest by comparison.

ANZ fell 0.5 per cent and Westpac fell 0.3 per cent.

Among the other firms reporting today, Nine Entertainment fell 3.33 per cent and surfwear company Billabong fell 3.6 per cent.

Official figures showed business investment picked up in the three months to June.

Capital expenditure rose 1.1 per cent, with building investment more than offsetting a fall in spending on machinery and equipment.

The Australian dollar jumped on Thursday’s business investment data, and about 5:00pm (AEST) was buying 93.5 US cents, 70.8 euro cents, 56.4 British pence, 97.1 Japanese yen and 111.5 New Zealand cents.

West Texas intermediate crude oil was selling for $US95.64 a barrel, Tapis crude oil in Singapore was trading at $US103.80 a barrel, and spot gold was trading for about $US1,287 an ounce.


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