The Australian market was weaker again today, pulled down by the seemingly never ending fall in the price of iron ore.
The banks were mostly steady, except for the NAB which was 0.75% down to $32.13.
Woolworths, with disappointing sales results, continued its slide to close down 2% to $32.26. Its shares are down 11% this month, according to CommSec.
The big winners were gold miners, including Northern Star which closed up 6.47% to $1.235.
First, the scoreboard:
- S&P ASX 200: 5,368.80 -30.89 (-0.57%)
- All Ordinaries: 5,352.50 -30.60 (-0.57%<)
- AUD/USD: 0.8666 -0.0051 (-0.59%)
And the top stories on Wednesday:
1. The fallout from plunging iron ore prices. Fortescue shares are off almost 8% to $2.74. The miner hasn’t traded that low since mid-2009 and it’s down more than 50% since January.
2. Virgin Australia expects to be back in profit in the second quarter of the current financial year as conditions improve in the domestic aviation market. Its shares closed down more than 1% to $0.395.
3. Shares in Kerry Stokes’ media and mining services company Seven fell more than 9% to $5.90 on a warning that earnings are likely to be down in 2015 by 10% to 15%.
4. The resources investment slow down is starting to cut into service companies. Explosives maker Orica, faced with an uncertain mining services market, has announced the sale of its chemical business for $750 million, and plans to cut costs further and shed another 700 staff. Its shares were down more than 4% to $18.47.
5. Shares in the Medibank Private float just got more expensive for institutions as the Federal Government lifts the top price range to $2.30 from $2.