AUSTRALIAN STOCKS FALL: Here's What You Need To Know

The Volvo Ocean Race. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing leaves from Alicante on its way to Cape Town. David Ramos/Volvo Ocean Race via Getty Images

The major banks led the market down today with the S&P ASX 200 closing 0.45% weaker.

Westpac, now trading ex-dividend, led the the fall, closing at $33.49, weaker by 3.87%. The ANZ lost 1.09% to $32.52.

Australia followed a firmer Wall Street with the the S&P 500 index up by less than 0.1% at close on Friday. The local market was stronger last week by 0.4%.

“The biggest issue is the fact recent gains were driven by banks and as these banks trade ex-div then their appeal wanes,” says Stan Shamu, Market Strategist AT IG.

“At the same time, resources are not quite contributing in the way they need to be in order to keep the market firm.”

First, the scoreboard:

S&P ASX 200: 5,524.00 -25.13 (-0.45%)
All Ordinaries: 5,501.40 -20.70 (-0.37%)
AUD/USD: 0.8673 +0.0040 (+0.46%)

And the top stories on Monday:

1.The Ten Network was up 1.85% to $0.275 on more reports of interest from American companies in the free-to-air TV network. This time it’s Time Warner and a reported $680 million takeover bid. However, television pioneer Bruce Gordon now says he won’t be selling his 14.9% share, which would block a full bid for Ten.

2. Local uranium stocks took heart from the news that Japan has decided to restart its nuclear reactors almost four years after the tsunami which led to them being shut down. Uranium miner Paladin Energy was up 12.12% to $0.37 and Energy Resources firmer by almost 10% to $1.33.

3. Gold stocks jumped after recent weaknesses. Northern Star Resources was up 11.34% to $1.08 and Resolute was up 17.8% to $0.265. The price of gold was firmer at $1,172 per ounce but still below the key $1,200 level.

4. Official numbers confirmed the housing market is being ruled by investors rather than owner-occupiers. September housing finance was up 2.3% in the value of total dwellings to $28.87 billion. This is made up of a 1.4% rise in owner-occupied housing to $16.93 billion and a stunning 3.7% jump in investment lending to $11.94 billion.

5. China‚Äôs consumer inflation is at a five year low of 1.6%, an indication of a weakening economy. The data also suggests that the export data on the weekend, including a rise in exports to Hong Kong, is likely to be an invoicing effect rather than “real” trade.

Here’s the chart.

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