The Australian Market Struggles Through A Flat Day

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The Australian market coasted to its second flat day in a row, largely ignoring strong signals from overseas markets.

The local S&P/ASX 200 closed down just 0.09% to 5,447.70 after hovering above the line for most of the day.

The banks were the weak link in the market. Westpac was more than 2% down to $34.17 and the ANZ down 1.44% to $32.93.

The miners shone today with BHP up 1.38% to $33.78 and Rio Tinto up 1.05% to $59.65. Fortescue was up almost 3% to $3.45.

Southern Cross Austereo shares jumped by more than 10% to 90 cents each after the media company said it was bringing back Hamish Blake and Andy Lee to radio and was issuing more than $3 million in equity to staff.

Qantas added another 1.86% to its share price, on top of the 7% yesterday and the 5% on Monday as the market continued to love the airline’s march to return to profit. The shares are now $1.64.

JB Hi-Fi was up 8.8% to $16.07 after the home entertainment retailer said sales have improved and are looking strong going into Christmas.

In the region, the Nikkei was stronger by 1.39% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng by 1.36%.

Markets are watching the US central bank’s two-day meeting on monetary policy and an expected announcement easing the stimulus program.

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