MARKET NEWS

Aust share market trading lower
31/05/2016 12:15 PM

The Australian share market is trading slightly lower, pulled back by a mixed performance by the major banks and big miners.

With markets in the United States and United Kingdom closed overnight for holidays, analysts say there is little reason for investors to support the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index above the psychologically important 5,400-point mark.

But a better-than-expected rise in approvals for the construction of new homes in April could put a floor under the selling.

The S&P/ASX 200 was 0.24 per cent lower at 1200 AEST.

In the banking sector, the Commonwealth Bank, Westpac, National Australia Bank and ANZ were weaker.

In the resources sector, global miner BHP Billiton was stronger, but Rio Tinto and Fortescue Metals were down.

KEY FACTS:

* At 1200 AEST on Tuesday, the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index was down 13 points, or 0.24 per cent, at 5,395 points.

* The broader All Ordinaries index was down 11.7 points, or 0.21 per cent, at 5,461.9 points.

* The June share price index futures contract was down eight points at 5,404 points, with 11,277 contracts traded.

* National turnover was 1.3 billion securities traded, worth $1.46 billion.

Aust stocks slip as energy, miners weigh
31/05/2016 10:58 AM

The Australian share market has started lower, as investors turned cautious ahead of key local and international economic data this week.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 was down 0.7 per cent, with energy, mining and retail-focused stocks leading the losses.

"We started cautiously, but then the market has fallen away a bit," Patersons strategist Tony Farnham said.

"There is an unwillingness to push the market above the 5,400 level until there is more clarity on some key economic measures such as GDP growth."

There was no direction from overseas markets, with Wall Street closed for a public holiday.

Investors will be watching out for the March quarter current account balance, as well as April building approvals and lending data later on Tuesday. Local gross domestic product data is due on Wednesday.

In the local market, energy shares were among the worst performers, as crude prices eased back below the $US50 a barrel level, with investors trying to second guess the impact from the OPEC meeting later this week.

Woodside Petroleum, Origin Energy and Oil Search shares were down between 1.2 to two per cent.

Mining giants BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto, as well as the four major banks were also each trading around one per cent lower.

Shares in retail focused stocks, including JB Hi-Fi, Harvey Norman, Woolworths and wesfarmers were also in the red.

Virgin Australia shares climbed more than five per cent to 30 cents after it announced that China's biggest private airline operator is set to take a 13 per cent stake in the airline as part of a strategic commercial alliance.

KEY FACTS:

* At 1048 AEST on Tuesday, the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index was down 38.5 points, or 0.71 per cent, at 5,369.5 points.

* The broader All Ordinaries index was down 36 points, or 0.66 per cent, at 5,437.6 points.

* The June share price index futures contract was down 39 points at 5,373 points, with 7,046 contracts traded.

* National turnover was 509.2 million securities traded, worth $534.5 million.

Aust shares open lower
31/05/2016 10:11 AM

The Australian share market has opened lower.

At 1025 AEST on Tuesday, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was down 28.22 points, or 0.52 per cent, at 5,379.8, while the broader All Ordinaries index was down 25.56 points, or 0.47 per cent, at 5,448.0.

But, on the ASX 24, the share price futures index contract was down 27 points at 5,385, with 385 contracts traded.