Australian market recovers after volatile start: Afternoon market insights

After a volatile start the Australian market recovered to finish flat today. It ended a good week for the local market, with signs of Greek debt stabilisation and a recovering US economy.

The S&P/ASX200 was down by 0.04% or 1.6 points to 4276.20, while the All Ordinaries Index fell  0.05% or 2.2 points to 4364.70.

The day’s winners

Transfield Services (ASX: TSE) rose 3.33 % to $2.48 at 3.50pm today. Transfield, which reported a 13% rise in profits last month, is a global provider of operations, maintenance and construction services to the resources, energy, industrial, infrastructure, property and defence sectors.

Graincorp Limited (ASX: GNC) jumped 2.90 % to $8.86 after James Packer increased his stake in the Australian-based global grain logistics giant.

The day’s losers

Silver Lake Resources (ASX: SLR) dropped 4.29% to $3.35. Silver Lake Resources is a gold producing and exploration company operating in the goldfields of Western Australia. The gold price has suffered in the face of good economic news over the last few days.

Myer Holdings (ASX: MYR) was down 2.84% to $2.225 today, continuing a decline in its share price since announcing a profits reduction yesterday.

Sector movers

The biggest sector winner was the S&P/ASX 200 Utilities index, which rose 1.18% or 20.8 points to 533.80.

The weakest sector was the S&P/ASX 200 Financial-X-A-REIT index which was down 1.00% or 8.3 points to 819.1.  Moody’s reduced Macquarie Group’s ratings today.

Currency

The Australian dollar rose today to buy $US1.0536 at 3.50pm.

Asian markets

Japan’s NIKKEI 225 was flat at 0.03% down to 10120.00.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was also in the red, down 0.24% to 21301.90.

Asian stocks were mixed as the rise in the yen dragged on Japanese exporters. “The market’s taking a breather after its recent rally,” says Mitsushige Akino, who oversees about $US600 million at Ichiyoshi Investment Management in Tokyo.

“There’s no doubt the US economy is headed in a good direction. Fundamentals are strong and money is flowing into Asia. With the US recovering and Europe’s debt crisis no longer acting as a drag, the global economy’s not headed for a decline,” Akino told Bloomberg.

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