Australian stocks continue downward slide: Afternoon market insights

Share prices were slightly lower today, as Asian bourses fell and the dollar hit an eight-month low.

At 3.30pm, the ASX 200 was down 0.27% to 4065.2, while the broader All Ordinaries was 0.38% to 4117.8.

The major stocks were mixed. Telstra rose 2.25% to $3.65 on news it was backing away from a stake in Consolidated Media Holdings, while News Corporate lost 1.63% to $19.87.

Just after 1pm, the Australian dollar hit an eight-month low, buying 96.76 US cents. It’s since recovered somewhat to buy 96.9 US cents.

Senior trader at CMC Markets Tim Waterer said China undershooting its expected PMI result had spooked traders.

“The Australian dollar took the Chinese PMI result harder than most, falling half a cent on commodity demand concerns. With global stock markets backtracking, the AUD has very little positive drivers, particularly with future RBA rate cuts waiting in the wings. The AUD may still have a future above parity in the second half of 2012, however it looks set to do it tough in the interim with the US dollar remaining a popular ‘safety’ pick.”

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