Despite a weak lead from Wall Street, the Australian stock market is trading slightly higher on Tuesday, with investors, back from an extended weekend, indulging in some selective buying.
Financial, healthcare, industrial and information technology stocks are finding support, while mining, energy and property trusts stocks are trading mixed.
The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index, which edged down a bit in early trades, recovered swiftly and is currently up 13.3 points or 0.3 percent at 4,077. The broader All Ordinaries index is up 11.8 points or 0.3 percent at 4,123.
Among bank stocks, ANZ Bank, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, National Australia Bank and Wetpac are up 0.5 to 1.1 percent. Bendigo & Adelaide Bank and Bank of Queensland are up 1.3 percent and 1.5 percent, respectively.
Among top miners, BHP Billiton is down 1 percent, Rio Tinto is losing about 1.2 percent and Newcrest Mining is down marginally. Fortescue Metals is trading in positive territory, gaining nearly a percent.
In the energy space, Oil Search and Origin Energy are up 1.3 percent and 1.7 percent respectively. Santos is trading marginally higher, while Woodside Petroleum and Caltex Australia are trading weak.
Qantas Airways is gaining more than 6.5 percent. Bluescope Steel is trading nearly 4 percent up.
Campbell Brothers, Seek, Perseus Mining, Downer EDI and James Hardie Industries are trading higher by 2.5 to 3 percent.
Sims Metal Manangement, Monadelphous Group, CFS Retail Property Trust, AMP, Whitehaven Coal, WorleyParsons, Orica and Onesteel are also trading notably higher.
Aquarius Platinum is down as much as 10.5 percent. Boart Longyear, Paladin Energy and Westfield Group are down 1.7 to 2.5 percent.
Fairfax Media has announced that revenue for the six months to June 30 is expected to be eight percent lower than in the same period in the previous year. The company expects underlying earnings for the year to June 30 to be about A$500 million, down from A$607.4 million in the previous year.
Shares of casino operator Echo Entertainment Limited are under a trading halt. The company will announce details of a capital raising venture during the day.
Alesco has reportedly rejected a A$188 million takeover offer from paint maker DuluxGroup, saying the offer was too low. DuluxGroup had offered A$2 per Alesco share, but Alesco said an independent expert had valued the company at between A$2.23 and A$2.52 per share.
Among other markets in the Asia-Pacific region, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand and Taiwan are trading notably lower, while Malaysia is down marginally. Markets across the region ended notably higher on Monday.
On Wall Street, stocks drifted lower on Monday, with investors questioning whether the aid pacakage announced by European Union on Saturday represents a long-term fix to the euro-zone debt crisis. The mood was positive early on, but the market soon lost its momentum and dipped into the red.
The Dow ended down 143 points, or 1.1 percent, to close at 12,411.2. The S&P 500 retreated 16.7 points, or 1.3 percent, to close at 1,308.9 and the Nasdaq dipped 48.7 points, or 1.7 percent, to end at 2,809.7.
Major European markets too ended lower on Monday. The French CAC 40 index lost about 0.3 percent, while the German DAX index closed lower by 0.2 percent.
U.S. crude oil futures ended sharply lower on Monday, extending its slide to a third successive session, on demand growth concerns. Oil prices had moved up earlier in the day on data that China's oil imports surged in May.
Crude for July delivery dropped $1.40 or 1.7 percent to close at $82.70 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
by RTT Staff Writer
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