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Saturday 25

March, 2017 1:07 AM



Energy, mining stocks hit Aust shares

Energy, mining stocks hit Aust shares

Investors dump Australian shares, particularly across the energy and mining sectors, after Wall Street finished in the red on Friday.

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By AAP 20.03.2017 12:44 PM

The Australian share market is in negative territory at lunch time, hurt by energy and mining companies, including Woodside Petroleum and Rio Tinto.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was down 0.32 per cent at 1200 AEDT, with 11 of the 12 sectors in the red, following a lacklustre session on Wall Street on Friday and a watered-down free trade commitment at the G20 meeting over the weekend.

Energy players, Woodside, Santos and Origin Energy lost ground on concerns about the global demand-supply balance for crude oil and pressure on local producers to firm supplies to the domestic market.

Rio Tinto dropped 51 cents to $62.42, while rival BHP Billiton fell four cents to $24.80.

Within the heavyweight financial sector, three of the big four banks were in negative territory.

SEEK shares gained ground, up 14 cents to $14.88, after the online jobs portal boosted its ownership of its online education joint venture with Swinburne University of Technology.

In the US, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.1 per cent on Friday, and the S&P 500 lost 0.13 per cent as investors await details on US President Donald Trump's promises of tax cuts.

Investors were also disappointed at the absence of pointers to an expected increase in the number of forthcoming rate hikes in the US.

Meanwhile, the Australian dollar is trading higher at 77.04 US cents, from 76.82 US cents at Friday's close, helped by rising commodity prices and weakness in the US dollar.

ON THE ASX:

* At 1200 AEDT, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 was down 18.3 points, or 0.32 per cent to 5,781.3 points.

* The broader All Ordinaries index was down 17.1 points, or 0.29 per cent to 5,823.7 points.

* The March SPI200 futures contract was down 15 points, or 0.26 per cent, at 5,768 points.

* National turnover was 1.11 billion securities traded worth $1.05 billion.

CURRENCY SNAPSHOT AT 1200 AEDT:

One Australian dollar buys:

* 77.04 US cents, up from 76.82 US cents on Friday

* 86.75 Japanese yen, down from 87.09 yen

* 71.66 euro cents, up from 71.32 euro cents

* 62.22 British pence, up from 62.18 pence

* 109.60 New Zealand cents, down from 109.91 NZ cents

BOND SNAPSHOT AT 1200 AEDT:

* CGS 5.25 per cent March 2019, 1.796pct, down from 1.825pct

* CGS 4.25pct April 2026, 2.758pct, down from 2.803pct

Sydney Futures Exchange prices:

* June 2017 10-year bond futures contract at 97.940 (implying a yield of 2.060pct), up from 97.095 (2.905pct) at Friday's close

* June 2017 3-year bond futures contract at 97.140 (2.860pct), down from 97.920 (2.080pct)

(*Currency closes taken at 1700 AEDT previous local session, bond market closes taken at 1630 AEDT previous local session)

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