8:00 PM Sydney – Australian stocks extended losses for the third day in a row as commodities plunged in Asian markets. Silver tumbled 8%, copper fell more than 6% and gold declined 5%. Australian banks reiterate their lack of willingness to pass on future rate hikes as profits soar to record high.
Australian stocks declined for the third day in a row and fell in five of the last six trading sessions.
The market weakness persisted after the euro zone sovereign bond market stress dragged commodities prices sharply lower and gold plunged 5% and silver dropped 8% and crude oil futures in New York dropped more than 5%.
The commodities markets were weak after Italian bond yield soared to a record high in the last fourteen years and German economy is already facing recession like conditions. The persistent stress in the bond market also spilled over in the latest manufacturing data from China and India.
The ASX 200 index fell 50.7 to 4,139.8 and All Ordinaries index fell 52 to 4,197.8. The Australian dollar edged lower to US$1.007 after falling below 99.9 U.S. cents in intraday trading.
In trading, stock turnover increased to 1.9 billion shares worth $3.87 billion.
BHP Billiton Ltd fell $0.64 to $35.06 and Rio Tinto Ltd shed $1.76 to $61.40. Newcrest Mining declined $0.93 to $30.88.
Fortescue Metals Group decreased 16 cents to $4.53, Lynas Corporation Limited closed down 12 cent to $1.15 and Iluka Resources fell $0.46 to $16.08.
BlueScope Steel Limited closed unchanged at 43.5 cents before it was halted and the company said retail investors participated in less than half of the secondary offering of $600 million.
Oil Search Limited traded down 15 cents to $6.25, Santos Limited fell 28 cents to $12.62 and Woodside Petroleum decreased $0.53 cents to $31.10.
Commonwealth Bank of Australia decreased $0.75 to $48.63 and National Australia Bank added 11 cents to $23.86. ANZ edged down 19 cents to $20.78. Westpac fell 34 cents to $20.46.
David Jones Limited added 7 cents to $2.76 and Wesfarmers Limited decreased 3 cents to $30.77 Harvey Norman Holdings closed up 2 cents to $2.10.
Woolworths Limited closed down 2 cents to $25.93 and JB Hi-Fi Limited decreased 24 cents to $15 and after the close the company said in a filing with the ASX that it expects first half earnings to decline 5% from a year ago period if the trading conditions of the recent months persists in the Christmas season.
Qantas Airways Ltd closed unchanged at $1.52, Virgin Australia closed unchanged at 35.5 cents and Flight Centre fell 16 cents to $19.69.
QBE Insurance Group Limited decreased 13 cents to $13.58.